Facebook Watch nearly doubled its users to 140 million in 6 months

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Facebook has been heavily emphasizing longer-form video via Facebook Watch — its dedicated video hub — and recentnumbers suggest it’s paying off, per Variety. The company reported 140 million daily active users (DAU) for Watch, who spend an average of 26 minutes watching video on the platform each day.

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In December, the company reported 75 million DAU for Watch, meaning its users almost doubled in six months. Notably, these numbers are not externally verified, and include anyone who watched at least 60 seconds of video on Watch.

Facebook is looking to build communities around shows to drive social engagement, and more meaningful viewership as a result. The company is confident in these numbers, and hasplanned its rollout for new originals, as well as licensed content and the continuation of hits “Red Table Talk” and “Sorry for Your Loss.”

To promote this content, Facebook is revamping suggestions on its platform with new sections: what videos others are watching, a communal viewing section (like Watch Party), and a personalized recommendations list based on videos popular among a user’s friends.

And Facebook has a built-in opportunity to generate conversation around its video content, with2.38 billion monthly active users, which makes capitalizing on its social ubiquity a smart way to boost Watch’s viewership.

Facebook leads the way in social video ad revenue, and its latest figures give us confidence that Facebook Watch will help it remain on top in the coming years. Social platforms including Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok have each seen an uptick in engagement around video content on their apps — and that engagement has likely been fueled by the social, immersive, and interactive environment where it’s being consumed.

This engagement has also kicked up a lot of brand interest: Advertisers have moved to invest25% of digital video budgets to social video, and, according to the IAB/Advertiser Perceptions survey, half of advertisers plan to increase that investment in 2019. Weprojectthat spend will hit $25.6 billion by 2023, up from $11.2 billion in 2018. We also expect that Facebook will be the big beneficiary of this growth: It’s already monopolizing those dollars, accounting for more than half of social video revenue in 2018.

While that figure includes ad spend on Instagram, if Facebook can drive more consumption on new shows on Facebook Watch — particularly if it can get people to interact with each other on the platform — the hub could increasingly contribute to that growth.

And Facebook could pitch Watch’s premium content as a more brand-safe bet for advertisers looking to reach a massive audience, particularly against YouTube, which is facing myriad content moderationissues.

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