Facebook opens up Watch to creators & adds video features to take on YouTube
Aiming to design a more YouTube-like landscape for creators, Facebook is broadening its video options and opening the door to Watch.
Facebook is expanding its video offerings for creators and publishers, giving more of them access to revenue opportunities, launching new interactive video features and offering creators a chance to be included in Facebook Watch, the site’s video hub.
The company is designing a more YouTube-like landscape for creators as it tries to build out Facebook Watch, the video hub launched last year that features original video content and programming.
These latest updates follow Facebook’s announcement earlier this year that it was investing in efforts to give creators more of what they needed to grow on the platform.
“To support them [creators], we’re focused on three areas: helping them engage and grow their community, manage their presence, and build a business on Facebook,” said Facebook’s head of video Fidji Simo in March of this year.
Opening the door to Watch
Initially launched to feature original content and programming, Facebook’s Watch will now begin to include videos from Pages.
“In our testing, we’ve found that people enjoy discovering and watching a combination of shows and videos in Watch — and for creators this means their videos may be eligible to show up in Watch to be discovered by a broader audience,” says Facebook.
As part of its efforts to bring more creator videos into Watch, Facebook is launching Facebook for Creators Launchpad, a program designed to find creators the site identifies as prime candidates for Watch content. Available by application only, the program will give creators the opportunity to monetize their videos via Ad Breaks and bring their content to a wider audience.
“The program will focus on creators with longer, authentic content that brings people back, that are focused on building a loyal community of fans, and who meet our monetization standards and follow our content guidelines for monetization,” says Facebook.
Revenue opportunities get a wider rollout
On the revenue front, Facebook is expanding three monetization opportunities to more creators. Already tested with a limited set of partners, Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager will now be available to a broader set of creators. The platform allows brands to find creators they can partner with to create sponsored content.
Ad Breaks are also being offered to more creators. Designed to offer creators a chance to share in ad revenue, Ad Breaks let creators include in-stream ads up to 15 seconds long within their Live videos.
Also, Facebook’s previously announced paid fan subscriptions are coming to more creators, allowing them to offer fans a paid subscription option for $4.99 a month that comes with exclusive content and a badge signifying their paid-supporter status. (More creators will also have access to a badge that highlights their top fans.)
New features to make creator videos more interactive
The new video features being rolled out to creators include interactive polling for Live and on-demand videos and gamification tools. Facebook says that in the coming weeks, a limited set of creators will be able to add viewer surveys, quick questions and challenges to video content. The new “gamification” feature allows creators to build out a quiz-like format where viewers who answer questions incorrectly are eliminated from the game.
“This will help a range of formats come to life, like a live trivia show where fans compete to see who knows the most about a particular topic or perhaps a direct competition between creators and their superfans on a topic of choice,” says Facebook — positioning the gaming feature as competition against the popular HQ Trivia app that became wildly successful after its launch last year.
Facebook listed three publishers — INSIDER, BuzzFeed News and Fresno — with game shows launching on Facebook Watch and said that Brent Rivera and That Chick Angel will be among the creators with polling and gamification features included in their video content.
In addition to the Live video interactive features, Facebook is also testing a new video template for Pages: “This template puts video and community front and center on a creator’s Page, with special modules for things like videos and groups.” Facebook says creators will be able to try out the new template with “one click” and can revert back to the original template if they want.
The Facebook Creator App, which was initially available on iOS, is now being rolled out globally on Android. The site is also accepting applications from creators that want access to the Rights Manager tool. Built for Facebook’s creator community, the Rights Manager tool lets creators control where and how their content is displayed.
These latest announcements come a day before Facebook’s sessions at VidCon. For the first time ever, Facebook says it will have a booth on the show floor to be included in the conference’s Community Track and named a number of the Facebook creators — like Doug the Pug, Nala Cat, Huda Kattan and 80Fitz — who will be making a special appearance at their booth, a move that sounds a lot like YouTube promoting its most famous YouTubers.