Facebook Bets Big on Facebook Watch

A recent report from eMarketer notes that the average time spent per day on Facebook is in decline.

Of course, we expect Facebook to do all it can to reverse this trend and recent news suggests Facebook Watch is a key component of this effort.

While Facebook Stories are a hit with users, the platform cannot rely on Stories alone to shore up user engagement. According to eMarketer, “It hasn’t cracked the code on getting more of its users to use Stories, despite its popularity on Instagram.”

Facebook has tested several formats on Facebook Watch and appears to be refining its programming to focus on shows built around fans and communities as opposed to straightforward news programming.

Facebook Watch recently broke records by massing 7.5 million users within its first 24 hours for a recent episode of Jada Pinkett Smith‘s series “Red Table Talk.” The episode, “Jordyn Woods Shares The Truth,” focused on Khloe Kardashian’s relationship with NBA star Tristan Thompson. The show has a robust community on Facebook of over 5.5 million followers.

Facebook Watch is also planning a reboot of MTV’s “Real World” and will be launching a new animated comedy series starring Anna Kendrick and Zac Efrom entitled, “Human Discoveries.” Both shows have the benefit of a massive fan base.

Beyond Facebook Watch, Facebook has also rolled out new video features to expand the level of engagement on the platform, which include watch parties and video premieres.

The bottom line: don’t rule out Facebook Watch. With deep pockets and motivation to maintain the attention of its users, expect Facebook to invest the time and resources needed to make Facebook Watch part of everyone’s online video viewing behavior.

Having said that, don’t forget about the 800-pound gorilla in the room: YouTube. With over 1.3 billion users and destination of choice for 18-49 year-olds, YouTube should always be considered a major part of any online video strategy.

Always test, but don’t neglect what you know will work.

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