Usually, our main focus is on YouTube and all things surrounding it. But this year, Facebook has seriously stepped up its game when it came to video content and even went as far as to introduce Facebook Watch, a service similar to YouTube, where people can watch shows and fun content. The social media platform has started producing content and offers these in a separate section to your usual feed if you live in the US.
For normal users, Watch offers a discovery page that will recommend new content, new watch pages and a dedicated feed for comments and reactions to videos. For creators, Watch is a new way to build an audience and increase their reach past YouTube as well as make money from their work.
With new developments and the companies main focus on video, we are wondering how fast it will be growing. Even before Watch, Facebook was achieving an impressive 100 million hours of video watch time daily on their platform. The company is trying to make Facebook more attractive to both users and creators alike.
Last week, rumours started circulating that Facebook will start testing pre-roll ads on Facebook Watch. Until now, Mark Zuckerberg was strongly against pre-roll and has opted, as many of you have noticed, for mid-roll ads on videos, even in our news feed. Ads at the beginning of videos is another step to rival YouTube. It is an attempt to get people to spend time on Watch, consuming high-quality content rather than just looking for short, viral videos on the normal Facebook feed. Depending on the outcome of the testing, it might be possible that creators will have a choice of ads on their content, making monetization options more versatile.
Facebook has also launched a new app, just for creators. The latest attempt to woo video creators away from YouTube, Facebook Creator offers a selection of tools for streaming live video, messaging people across several of Facebook’s platforms and updating stories.
The first fantastic feature is an improved Facebook live. The app allows creators to create intros and outros. Especially intros can be great, as they give an introduction and give users a smoother transition when the stream starts. As expected, the app also allows you to take photos, edit them and publish them to Facebook Stories.
Another interesting aspect is that the app creates one inbox for comments on Facebook, Instagram and messages from Messenger. This is simply handy when replying to community comments and questions without having to navigate several different apps. There are still more messaging options to add in the future to make the app all-encompassing, but this is a very useful start for many busy creators.
At the moment, the app is only available for iOS users but shall become available for Android users in the next few months. Of course, analytics will be available on it as well, tracking progress and performance like on many other Facebook features. The app will be very helpful for creators who are already in the space and want to optimize their time management and add a few nifty upgrades to their content. It definitely is one step further towards Facebook’s goal of being the new video platform.