The fact that video content on the internet is becoming increasingly important has not escaped the notice of social media giant Facebook. Moving images have the most noticeable effect in the news feed, and they also do something that is most important to Facebook: keep users on the pages of the network for as long as possible. This means more opportunities for advertising and therefore increases sales.
It is therefore a smart and consistent step that Facebook has launched the video service “Facebook Watch”. Just like YouTube Premium, you can view both your own productions and videos uploaded by users. However, the ability to publish your own videos on Facebook Watch is limited to those that Facebook has actively included in the program.
Facebook Watch started in the US in 2017, followed by Europe and Germany in 2018. As so often, the introduction is gradual. In the fall of 2018, Facebook Watch will not appear as a menu item or header in the desktop browser. However, under the field for new messages the option “View party” appears. So you can start a video and watch it together with Facebook friends in a kind of chat channel. Only in the Facebook Watch app already has its own prominent menu item. This is here (under Android) marked with the red frame:
Facebook watch mobile view
Facebook brings its watch platform to the people in the app
The “Watchlist” contains videos from sites to which I have subscribed, including recommendations compiled by Facebook.
Conclusion: the strategy of establishing Facebook as a video platform certainly has great potential and viewing parties are fun. But a second YouTube seems – at least not – to be the target, because the core idea of YouTube has always been that everyone can upload videos. This is not the case here.
Similarly, Facebook Watch has so far not focused on feature films and high-quality drama series. It remains to be seen whether this will change in the future and so a new competitor for Netflix and Co. is coming.