Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Facebook announced the global rollout of its Watch video-on-demand service, a competitor to Netflix and YouTube.
The video-streaming service has been available for a year in the United States, to limited acceptance. A survey by Diffusion Group last week noted that only 14 percent of U.S. Facebook patrons use the service at least once a week. Those who watch, though, are loyal. Over 50 million people have seen Watch, and total time on the service has increased by a factor of 14 since the start of 2018, said Fidji Simo, Facebook's head of video.
"With the global launch of Watch, we are supporting publishers and creators globally in two critical areas: helping them to make money from their videos on Facebook and better understand how their content is performing," Facebook said in a statement Tuesday. A program's popularity determines the amount of money creators can derive from their work. A three-minute video that attracts 10,000 viewers, for example, qualifies for compensation.
Watch has been compared to Google's YouTube and Amazon's Twitch as opportunities for content creators to develop revenue streams from on-screen advertising. The service was designed to provide an audience-participation experience, with interactive features such as polls and quizzes to fulfill a goal of fostering a sense of community between creators and users, Facebook says.
Among current offerings are breakout hits SKAM Austin, about teenagers and their lives, and the talk show Red Table Talk, featuring actress Jada Pinkett Smith and her family. ABC, Fox News, Vice and Buzzfeed have also supplied programming for Watch.