Facebook Watch is expanding globally and giving publishers one stat to track how many people watch their videos week after week

Facebook is opening up Watch to all users.

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Facebook is opening up Watch to all users.
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Samantha Lee / Business Insider

  • Facebook is expanding Watch globally and letting international publishers earn money from their videos, starting with the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.
  • Publishers are also getting their hands on a new metric called user retention, which tracks how many viewers watch a publisher’s videos week after week on the platform.
  • Facebook is clearly betting that people will repeatedly watch videos on its platform

Facebook is making a bigger bet on Watch and plans to crank up the number of ads that appear in videos.

On Wednesday, the social network rolled out Watch globally. Up until now, Facebook tested Watch in the US only as part of a bigger bet to enlist creators and publishers to make content that consumers will habitually watch on the platform.

As part of the expansion, publishers can now access a hub called Creator Studio, which allows them to manage their video inventory and access analytics about their videos, including a new metric that specifically measures audience retention.

Watch has slowly evolved in the US over the past few months to include more videos from Pages that are monetized through mid-roll and pre-roll ads. While ad loads are small, some publishers are starting to see revenue potential in Watch, especially with the ability to sell their own inventory.

According to Facebook, 50 million people in the US visit the Watch tab every month to watch videos for at least one minute.

“It’s not an insane ad load to where it would drive users away, but if you’ve watched two or three minutes of video, we hope in the Watch environment that you’re going to stay on what’s next,” Ken Blom, VP of branded distribution at BuzzFeed, told Business Insider recently. “Facebook will talk about ‘intentionality’ as the metric that they think about for Watch.”

Facebook is taking the same approach internationally

Similar to the gradual rollout in the US, videos from any international Pages are now eligible to show up in Watch, regardless of whether it’s a show or a video clip.

Creators in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia can set up ad breaks to make money off of their videos. The international ad break program will expand to 21 additional countries and languages in September including Argentina, France, Spain, Thailand, and Peru.

Facebook claims that 70% of mid-roll ads are viewed to completion and offers publishers an auto-insertion tool that can automatically detect the best place to plug an ad into a video. Publishers can also control ad breaks manually. Creators keep 55% of ad revenue while Facebook keeps the other 45%.

To be eligible for ad breaks, publishers need to create three-minute videos that have collectively racked up 30,000 one-minute views over the past two months. They also need to have Pages with at least 10,000 followers.

Within Creator Studio, publishers can see stats like:

  • Watch time and view counts.
  • How many people have followed or unfollowed a Page.
  • A metric called user retention, which tracks how many viewers watch a publisher’s videos week after week.
  • Video completion rates.

The Facebook Watch dashboard

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The Facebook Watch dashboard
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Facebook