Facebook Watch is expanding, despite the fact that the platform does not succeed in gaining popularity among the younger audience of the digital age. The largest social network announced the expansion of its 15-second commercials in more than a dozen new countries, as well as the launch of Watch in the desktop environment and Facebook Lite.
The move took place almost simultaneously with The Information’s message about reducing the funding of Facebook for some of its original news shows, made in partnership with CNN, Buzzfeed and ABC News. Although Facebook’s budget for news content remains at $ 90 million, the company will reallocate funds to other programs. The Information also reported that the advertising revenue from Facebook Watch was lower than expected.
In October, Facebook announced that it was working with MTV to bring The Real World’s classic reality show to the international market, as well as to present an interactive game show called Confetti in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Recode reported that Facebook is negotiating with HBO to sell a subscription to the service, access to which will be provided only through the mobile application, and, most likely, through the Watch tab.
Almost one and a half years have passed since the launch of Facebook Watch, and the number of service viewers remains negligible compared to YouTube, Twitch and other more mature platforms. This may be the result of poor marketing and consumer ignorance. According to a survey conducted by Diffusion Group, despite the past year after the launch of Facebook Watch in the United States, 50% of American adults knew nothing about the existence of the service. Facebook does not disclose the number of unique visitors to Watch, and the company instead considers its visitors by the number of views. The company said that more than 400 million users watch videos of at least one minute per month. Compare this to YouTube’s estimated 1.9 billion active users per month for September of this year, according to Omnicore statistics.
News that Facebook will distribute advertisements to more countries and continue to expand shows that the company is viewing videos, especially adapted for international markets, as an extremely valuable opportunity to grow its vast advertising empire. New Watch markets will include China (Hong Kong), India (Bangladesh), South Africa, Taiwan, Italy, Saudi Arabia and others. The service is also reportedly in talks with other media companies to create content for an audience over 30 years old – teens leave Facebook in favor of their younger Instagram platform.