Facebook Watch Is Rolling Out New Features, Monetization Options and Shows

The social network is partnering with global publishers in entertainment, news, sports

Screenshot of Facebook Watch updates
Facebook is expanding on last July’s addition of Watch Parties for groups Facebook

Are people really watching Facebook Watch? Yes, according to the social network, which said Wednesday that 720 million people per month spend at least one minute on its video destination, and 140 million people do so daily, with those daily visitors spending more than 26 minutes there on average.

Director of product management Paresh Rajwat and head of content planning and strategy Matthew Henick provided an update on new Facebook Watch features, for both viewers and brands, as well as investments in new content for the platform.

Facebook found that people are eight times more likely to comment on videos when viewing them during a Watch Party—which enables users to view videos simultaneously, live or recorded, and comment on and react to those videos—than they are when watching on their own.

On that note, the social network is expanding on last July’s addition of Watch Parties for groups and the addition of official groups to Facebook Watch pages for shows, the latter of which was revealed at its F8 developers conference in late April.


Facebook is testing new sections in Watch, including ways to find videos that are popular with friends, as well as a section dedicated to co-watching experiences including Watch Party, Premieres (which enable publishers and video creators to pre-record videos and debut them as live moments on Facebook, enabling people to experience them for the first time simultaneously and comment as they watch) and Facebook Live videos.


The social network is also extending its Ad Breaks monetization option to Canada and adding five new languages: Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Swedish and Telugu.

Ad Breaks are available to pages that create videos at least three minutes in length that have generated more than 30,000 one-minute views over the past two months, have 10,000 or more followers and meet Facebook’s monetization eligibility standards. Publishers and creators can opt for mid-roll and pre-roll formats, as well as image ads that appear directly below videos, and they receive shares of the resulting revenue.

Facebook said the number of pages actively using Ad Breaks has more than tripled over the past year, as has the number of pages earning over $10,000 in payouts per month, while eight times more pages are earning $1,000 or more in monthly payouts.

Infographic illustrating Facebook Watch viewer stats

Finally, Rajwat and Henick detailed some of the new programming that will be coming to Facebook Watch this summer and fall.

The social network is partnering with global publishers in the entertainment, news and sports categories, including:

  • Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 will develop pre-shows, after-shows, interviews and spinoffs related to its popular television offerings such as The Voice Germany, Germany’s Next Top Model and Late Night Berlin.
  • The International Cricket Council will provide match previews, highlights and insider commentary from every ICC Cricket World Cup match.
  • From Australia, Seven Studios will debut a slate of new original digital series on Facebook Watch, and sports leagues the National Rugby League, the Australian Football League and Cricket Australia will provide content including highlights, live original programs and match wrap-ups.
  • And Facebook Watch’s News in Watch program will be expanded internationally later this year.

On the Facebook Watch Originals front, the platform’s adaptation of MTV’s The Real World debuts Thursday in the U.S., Mexico and Thailand.

Human Discoveries will premiere in July, and August will bring season five of Ball in the Family, the premiere of Curse of Akakor and the second seasons of Five Points and Huda Boss.

The premieres of The Birch and Limetown and the second season of Sorry for Your Loss will follow in October.

Facebook rolled out a program in March to connect creators with digital publishers and have them collaborate on Facebook Watch shows, and the first fruits of that initiative will begin coming to the platform this month.

Sundays at Nonna’s, from Tastemade and Ian Hecox; Whistle’s Globetrotter Gauntlet, with the Harlem Globetrotters; and The Players’ Tribune’s Generations, featuring soccer stars Megan Rapinoe and Lindsey Horan, will debut in June.

July will bring Studio71’s Fetch Me a Date, starring Jonathan Bennett and Dorothy Wang, and BuzzFeed’s Mi Quinceañera Come True featuring PeroLike is slated for October.

Extensive details on all of these new and returning shows are available in this blog post from Facebook head of global creative strategy, media partnerships Ricky Van Veen.

Rajwat and Henick wrote, “There’s always a lot happening with Watch, from amazing new videos that spark conversations, to creators and publishers that inspire fans. We’re committed to making Watch the best place for everyone around the world to discover and watch videos together.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.