- Facebook expanded ad sales on its Watch platform to 40 countries after initially limiting ads to five countries, according to a blog post. The social network is gradually expanding the ad inventory for Watch, its video-sharing and streaming service, after bringing the video service to every country in the world this year.
- India, Singapore, Italy and Hong Kong are among the new regions that have ad placements in Watch. Facebook’s plans for next year, per the company blog post, include the introduction of more ad breaks in Watch and tests of new placements, such as in livestreams from gaming influencers. Creators worldwide will have more opportunities to be matched with sponsors on Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager.
- More than 400 million people monthly and 75 million people daily spend at least one minute on Watch. On average, people who visit the site daily spend an average of more than 20 minutes in Watch, according to the blog.
As Facebook maxes out the ad inventory on its core News Feed, the social network is seeking more ways to grow sales. That includes social commerce efforts, more sponsored posts on Instagram, closer integrations with its WhatsApp messaging app and more ad insertions in Watch. The video platform seeks to grab viewership from Google’s YouTube, which has more than 1.8 billion users worldwide, including paid subscribers to its video and music streaming service. By giving creators more opportunities to monetize their content, Watch is aiming to build a community of influencers who keep viewers engaged with its video streams.
However, Watch has struggled to gain viewership since its rollout, producing just a handful of original programs that match the caliber of award-winning shows on Amazon Prime or Netflix. It also has struggled to attract eyeballs on the scale of a platform like rival YouTube. A lack of consumer interest comes despite Facebook investing $1 billion into buying shows and content for Watch, according to CNBC. To build out Watch, Facebook shifted focus to audiences ages 30 and older rather than the teens and younger millennials that the service initially appeared to target, CNBC reported.
Facebook’s expansion of ad sales on Watch comes just days after the platform began testing search ads in its search results and Marketplace. While the company reported a 33% increase in revenue for a total of $13.73 billion for Q3 2018, it didn’t meet analysts’ expectations. Still, even during a year plagued by controversies, marketers have yet to abandon the platform due to its large global audience base and trove of user data.