Introducing Facebook Watch
About a year ago at this time, Snapchat was on the rise. It was the place to go for Millennials and Gen Z alike. At the time, Snapchat was a news source, a communications channel, and a place to broadcast your day as it happened.
But then, Facebook came along. By strategically rolling out updates to Instagram stories, Facebook put Snapchat on the hot seat. While they’re not necessarily lacking users, it’s safe to assume that Snapchat’s growth was outpaced by Instagram, which recently passed a huge milestone – one billion users.
In other cases, however, new Facebook programs have failed to gain much traction. Without even moving past the war with Snapchat, you can find multiple failed projects, such as the Facebook Poke app, a failure so massive you probably don’t even remember it.
So while Facebook tends to be a hit making machine, they’ve certainly made wrong assumptions before. Where does that leave Facebook Watch?
Will people use the new platform for viewing unique content? Will they consider it even over Netflix or Hulu, or is Facebook Watch more of a supplementary service?
First of all, what is Facebook Watch?
The Facebook Watch Experiment
Facebook Watch is a new service being rolled out by Facebook. It’s bringing a new emphasis on video to the platform and is developed to include original programming as well as exclusively broadcasted content.
Shows like “Kitchen Little” are coming along first. Kitchen Little is a show about kids teaching professional chefs how to make dishes based on the knowledge they’ve gained from one how-to video.
In addition to this, Facebook’s lineup boasts a weekly game broadcasted by the MLB, a talk show, and more.
How Will Facebook Watch Compete?
In video streaming, there are two big names: Hulu and Netflix. However, if you add “pretty big” players into consideration, a lot more competition has to be considered. Amazon and YouTube both produce original content, and Apple is expecting to do so as well.
Where does that leave Facebook? Well, a platform with 2 billion users can never be counted out, but the battle may prove to be uphill.
A platform with 2 billion users can never be counted out.
After all, when users come across Facebook videos in their feed, they tend to watch with the sound off and only briefly. The average view on Facebook is nowhere near one minute.
On platforms like YouTube, users arrive expecting to watch videos. They settle in and grab their headphones. On Netflix, binge watching is regular behavior.
Facebook, on the other hand, is going to have to re-educate their users. Over time, if Facebook Watch is to be successful, it’s necessary that users learn to think of the platform as a place to go for long-form video content.
Facebook is going to have to re-educate their users.
That being said, Facebook does amass astonishing amounts of video views in a day, and Facebook users are familiar with it as a part of the platform.
It will be interesting to see how Facebook Watch figures into the Facebook News Feed, if at all. We do know that the “Video” button on the bottom of the Facebook app will be taken over by Facebook Watch, but other elements that could play into the platform’s success or failure are TBD.
We’re going to keep an eye out for Facebook Watch, and we’d recommend for small businesses to do the same. As with anything on social media, an opportunity may certainly come along for small businesses to capitalize on Facebook’s new video-oriented platform. If you’re looking for more information about the basics of social media, then feel free to check out the article we’ve linked to in this sentence.