Facebook Watch launches in UK – but have you heard of it?
Staff Reporter | On 01, Sep 2018
Facebook Watch is now available in the UK for the first time.
The social network’s video platform launched a year ago, but was only available in the US. Now, after tweaking and developing the platform, it’s rolling out worldwide to give users a way to find shows and video creators they love, as well as start conversations with friends, other fans, and creators.
“Over the past year, we’ve made the experience more social — like making it easier to see which videos your friends have liked or shared, creating shows that have audience participation at their core, and opening Watch to videos from Pages,” says Facebook in a blog post. “These updates have helped people discover and engage more deeply with videos they love — from Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith, to beauty mogul Huda Kattan’s behind-the-scenes show Huda Boss, to live Major League Baseball games.”
The result is a place to discover new videos spanning entertainment, sports, news and more in a personalised Watch feed and a way to catch up with creators and publishers via a Watchlist, a collection of recent videos from Pages you follow. It’s also a home for saved videos from timelines when users don’t have time to watch it straight away. There are also videos to participate in, as Facebook builds new interactive video experiences.
Over time, users will be able to find new video experiences in their Watch feed, like Watch Parties, Premieres, and videos focused on audience participation — like the new trivia game show, Confetti.
Every month, more than 50 million people in the US come to watch videos for at least a minute in Watch, and the total time spent watching videos in Watch has increased by 14X since the start of 2018, according to the social network.
However, new data suggests that many people haven’t even heard of Facebook’s would-be YouTube contender. According to research from The Diffusion Group, half of all Facebook users in America have never heard of Facebook Watch, while 24 per cent have heard of it, but don’t use it. The survey also found 21% watch programming on Facebook Watch monthly, while 14% watch weekly, and 6% watch at least once per day.
To access Watch on iOS and Android, look for the Watch icon in the shortcuts bar or the “More” bookmark. Watch is also available on Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One, and Oculus TV.