Aug 29, 2018

Facebook launches YouTube rival worldwide

Facebook's Watch video-streaming service is rolling out worldwide, just over a year after its US launch. Watch competes for attention against both traditional TV channels as well as online outlets including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer and Facebook's own Instagram TV. A study published last week suggests that it only had niche appeal in its first year in the US. Of 1,632 adult Facebook users questioned, 50% had never heard of Watch, while 24% said they were aware of the on-demand service but had never used it, according to the Diffusion Group. Another report noted that although some Watch shows had attracted audiences numbering in their millions, they often struggled to retain them. "This seems to be a pattern with most Facebook Watch shows: lots of people sample, few return," wrote Verne Gay for Newsday. "It is built on the notion that watching video doesn't have to be a passive experience," explained Fidji Simo, Facebook's vice-president of video.

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