FIDJI SIMO, HEAD OF VIDEO AT FACEBOOK WATCH
Watching video has always been a social experience, but as people increasingly watch video online, it has become more solitary. With Facebook Watch, we set out to invent what it looks like to build deep bonds through watching online video, instead of just having a passive viewing experience. 2018 was a big year for Facebook Watch. Watch launched to every country around the world, we opened the platform to videos from all Pages, and debuted dozens of Facebook Originals.
In 2019, we will continue to expand the ways publishers and creators can make money on Facebook. We’ll bring Ad Breaks to video creators in more countries around the world, and will test new Ad Breaks placements, like in livestreams from professional gamers. We want to bring Brand Collabs Manager to more countries to help match brands and creators for sponsorship deals, and will be expanding our fan subscriptions test.
We’re also working to unify the video experience across Facebook. Right now, people can find and watch videos on Facebook in a number of different places — Watch, News Feed, Search, Pages and more — and all of these can feel different. We want to make the experience of watching video feel immersive no matter where you discovered a video.
Since launch, we’ve funded a range of Facebook Originals on Watch, and many have found their fit on Facebook with strong, engaged audiences. With our Originals, we’ve intentionally focused on content with the potential to have an extended life on Facebook beyond the initial airing of the shows that sparks conversations and two-way interactions. As we move into 2019, we will continue funding Originals, and we’re delighted to announce the renewal of three shows for a second season: Huda Boss, Five Points, Sacred Lies, and Sorry For Your Loss.
We’ve learned that in the age of “peak TV,” simply being entertaining or having high production values isn’t good enough. A show needs to strike a chord in the broader cultural zeitgeist or serve a group of passionate people that wants something it doesn’t currently get elsewhere.