Facebook Watch Celebrates 400 Million Users, Renews Originals

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by @todotvnews the 14/12/2018
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The social media's video platform revealed the first consumer numbers since going global this past August. In addition, it announced new seasons of original productions with the ability to connect people.

Facebook Watch, the social media's original video platform that launched in the US on August 2017 and later on expanded to the whole world, has its own reason to celebrate.

In spite of studies that claim that the majority of Facebook's users still don't interact with the video platform, Mark Zuckerberg's company still claims that more and more people are hooked on Watch's content.

According to the data revealed, more than 400 million monthly users worldwide spent at least one minute watching videos on Watch. This number is eight times higher than the 50 million it had in the US prior to its global launch.

The numbers offered by Facebook also showcase that more than 75 million users spend at least one minute a day watching content on Watch, and that on average, they spend more than 20 minutes a day streaming videos.

Renovations

Alongside viewership figures, Facebook Watch announced that four of its original shows have been renewed for new seasons.

And this is major news, since the only series to be renewed so far by the social media network had been SKAM, an American adaptation of the Norwegian teen phenomenon.

The four titles coming back with new episodes are Sorry for Your Loss, Huda Boss, Five Points and Sacred Lies, which together accumulate about 1.3 million followers.

Ricky Van Veen, director of Global Creative Strategy at Facebook, explained their reason behind the renewal of those shows: "With our originals, our goal is to offer programming that not only entertains, but also brings people together".

"At an international level we have focused on content with the potential to have a longer life on Facebook, beyond the initial broadcast of the shows, which promotes conversations and back-and-forth interactions," he added.

Thus, the acclaimed drama Sorry for Your Loss, starring Elizabeth Olsen, surprised Facebook with the mourning community that formed around the series, where people supported each other online, according to Van Veen.

There will also be a new season for reality show Huda Boss, which follows blogger Huda Kattan after becoming an entrepreneur. According to Facebook, the show attracted nearly 400,000 people.

Five Points, on the other hand, is a teenage drama produced by Emmy-nominated Kerry Washington and set in a high school in Chicago, which welcomed audience numbers as large as those tuning in for Huda Boss.

Sacred Lies, on its end, an adaptation of the novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes, has also been renewed. The creator and showrunner of the series, Raelle Tucker, commented of the first season: "I had never seen thousands and thousands of people gather on the internet in such a harmonious, festive and positive way".

Facebook's investment in original productions, which this year was around US$ 1 billion, will continue in 2019, said Van Veen. And not just in the US.

In this sense, the executive mentioned the reboot of reality show The Real World alongside MTV Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions, which will have local versions in Mexico and Thailand scheduled to premiere in the first half of next year.

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