Facebook Watch, the video component launched by the world’s largest social media company back in 2018, is now averaging 1.25 billion viewers a month.
The revelation was made in a blog post written by Paresh Rajwat, head of video producers for Facebook. The numbers include users who watch just one minute of one show, so they don’t say a lot about engagement.
But it’s relevant as Facebook’s somewhat overlooked video platform competes in the area of short form video with YouTube, which averages more than 2 billion viewers a month.
Rajwat said Facebook Watch viewing surged at the beginning of the pandemic and has stayed strong since.
“During a time when people can’t come together physically, more people are turning to Watch to stay connected to creators, artists, sports, entertainment and what’s happening in the world,” he wrote.
Early on, Facebook Watch experimented with scripted originals, notably drama Sorry for Your Loss, which starred Elizabeth Olsen and was promoted for Emmy consideration before being cancelled in January.
Over time, the platform has become much driven by reality-lifestyle programming, including its biggest domestic hit, Red Table Talk, starring Jada Pinkett Smith.
And as described by Rajwat in his blog post, it has also become much more global and short-form driven.
“With growing demand to connect around music on Facebook, we introduced music videos in Watch to everyone in the U.S., India and Thailand,” Rajwat said. “The music destination in Watch lets people explore music videos by genre, artist or mood, and features themed playlists. Last month, Katy Perry debuted her new music video, “Smile,” the title track of her just released fifth album, exclusively on Facebook to millions of fans.”
In France, he added, broadcaster M6 has seen in a 2.5x increase in one-minute video views in non months, while adding more than 6 million new followers across its network of Facebook pages. These include pages for France’s Got Talent, Top Shelf and Les Marseillais.
“In Germany, ProSiebenSat.1 has more than doubled its one-minute video views in 11 months, while organically acquiring 2.5 million new follows across its show Pages such as The Voice of Germany and Galileo, rallying new audiences,” Rajwat added.
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