Facebook rolls out Watch video service internationally

PHOTO: People pose with mobile devices in front of a projection
of the Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken in


By Paul Sandle

LONDON (Reuters) – Facebook is rolling out its Watch video
service globally one year after it launched in the United States
with original entertainment news and sports content to compete
with platforms like Alphabet Inc’s YouTube.

Facebook’s Head of Video Fidji Simo said Watch was gaining real
momentum in a crowded marketplace because it was built on the
notion that watching videos could be a social activity.

“Every month more than 50 million people in the U.S. come to
watch videos for at least a minute on Watch, and total time spent
watching video on Facebook Watch has increased by 14 times since
the start of 2018,” she told reporters.

“With Watch … you can have a two-way conversation about the
content with friends, other fans or even the creatives

Facebook said eligible creators would be able to make money from
their videos using its Ad Breaks service in Britain, Ireland,
Australia and New Zealand as well as the United States from
Thursday, with many more countries set to follow.

Simo said publishers were making “meaningful revenues” from its
automated video advertising system on the platform, which has
featured shows such as beauty mogul Huda Kattan’s “Huda Boss” and
live “Major League Baseball” games.

“We know it’s been a long road but we’ve worked hard to ensure
that the Ad Breaks experience is a good one for both our partners
and our community,” she said.

Ad revenue will be split 55 percent for the content creator and
45 percent for Facebook, the same ratio as in the United States,
Simo said.

Publishers need to have created three-minute videos that
have generated more than 30,000 one-minute views in total over
the past two months and must have 10,000 followers to
participate in Ad Breaks, Facebook said.

Simo said Facebook was working on a variety of other options for
creators to make money, such as branded content and the ability
for fans to directly support their favorite creators through

“(Fan subscription) is something that is rolled out to a few
creators now, but we are planning on expanding that program
soon,” she said.

(Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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