This week, Facebook rolled out a new video service globally which many journalists describe as a new challenger to YouTube. In the US, “Facebook Watch” has already been available for a year.
Facebook Watch is currently only available through Facebook’s mobile apps (iOS and Android) and not through the desktop version of the platform. You can access the service through a small icon that is either at the bottom of the app or hidden behind the “more” option.
So, what does Facebook Watch mean for non-profits?
The good news is: you do NOT have to worry about yet another channel!
- If you are not creating video content yet, you should definitely start doing it. Not because of Facebook Watch, but because video content works.
- If you are already creating video content, just continue to do what you are doing!
So what is Facebook Watch all about?
The main new feature that video creators get through Facebook Watch is the ability to monetize their videos. As you are probably aware, successful YouTubers get a cut of the ads that YouTube shows in connection with their content. Since Facebook did not share ad revenue with content producers, there was little incentive for them to love Facebook. By giving content creators a piece of the advertising pie, Facebook hopes to attract more video producers to the platform so that users stay on Facebook and don’t go to YouTube. So, in a nutshell, this is all about Facebook and Google competing for advertising money with each other.
In the medium term, this probably means that both platforms will also compete via the tools that they make available to video creators, such as better designed editors, more (or better) music tracks that you can use to put on your videos etc.
Confusingly it is not entirely clear how you get your videos on Facebook Watch at the moment. When Facebook launched the platform in the US, you had to fill out an application form, but Facebook’s latest press release indicates that content from Facebook pages you liked will be included automatically. From what I saw in my Watch feed today, that seems to be the case. So if you are already doing video, this is just another way that Facebook will share your content for you.
How are you using video on Facebook? Share your experiences below!