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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Facebook brings video service Watch to the world

Global roll-out prompted by shift in viewing habits away from traditional television to online platforms

Social media giant expands offering worldwide from today after running in US for a year. AFP
Social media giant expands offering worldwide from today after running in US for a year. AFP

Facebook said on Wednesday it is rolling out globally its Watch video service, which has already been available in the United States for more than a year.

"We designed the product not just in a mindless consumption but in order to get people engaged," said Fidji Simo, Facebook's vice president for video.

Facebook launched Watch amid a shift in video viewing habits away from traditional television to online platforms including Netflix and Hulu, and with more people watching both professional and user content on services like YouTube.

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Facebook has been ramping up its video offerings with original shows and this week announced new formats including interactive game shows, quizzes and polls. The announcement comes two weeks after Facebook revealed it would broadcast free of charge Spanish top flight division football matches in the Indian subcontinent, and Champions League matches in Latin America.

"Contents that we fund are a very small part of the contents available on Watch," said Ms Simo.

Facebook is hoping instead that videos made by users themselves are what will keep people watching. Ms Simo said Facebook had spent a lot of time developing tools so creators of videos can integrate ads themselves.

"We remain confident that monetisation will help creation," she said.

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