Facebook launches YouTube competitor ‘Watch,’ creators begin to sign on

Facebook launches Watch, YouTube competitor

Last week, Facebook introduced their latest video-related product that aims to compete with YouTube. Watch is a new platform that aggregates and highlights the best in video content the site has to offer.

“Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching,” Facebook said. A feed called Watchlist will allow viewers to subscribe to individual shows and receive notifications when new episodes are available. Content will be discoverable in sections like “Most Talked About,” which features shows that spark conversation, “What’s Making People Laugh,” with shows that receive a high volume of Haha reactions, and “What Friends Are Watching.”

Viewers will be able to chat with other viewers while watching content, and discuss their favorite shows in dedicated Facebook groups. Episodes can be either pre-recorded or live.

Watch will ultimately host both short-form videos and television-style programming. The platform is currently available in the Facebook mobile apps, and will soon be coming to desktop and TV devices as well.

YouTube Creators Signing On

Shows are currently limited to a select group of publishers. Interested parties can submit their show idea – new or existing – to Facebook through this form.

22-year-old Meg DeAngelis is one of the first creators to sign on, bringing her popular five-episode scripted original It’s A Girl Thing to the Watch platform. The series currently boasts 17 million views on YouTube.

Similar to Shows, monetization is still limited to a select group of publishers, but will be slowly opened up to more creators in the coming months. Ad breaks will be the primary form of monetization, and creators can opt to create sponsored shows using the branded content tag.