It appears Facebook’s next goal is to take on YouTube with its own video-focused platform “Watch,” which was launched last year as a central hub of content that lacked compelling enough videos to ensure users came back to watch more.
But now, sources say Facebook is planning to beef up the video service to make it a more formidable foe and get a chance to capture some of YouTube’s humongous audience.
As CNBC reports, Facebook is reportedly set to expand its Watch tab allowing even more creators to upload their own content without the social network purchasing rights to their programming. Instead, Facebook and content creators would share the ad revenue, similar to Google’s monetization strategy.
Another source with knowledge about Facebook’s plans claim that the company’s ultimate goal is to establish a sustainable video platform supported for advertisements, a strategy where it won’t have to pay for majority of the content uploaded.
It makes sense for Facebook to do this now, especially with YouTube recently implementing some changes with regard to how its creators profit off the platform, making it harder for them to earn money from their videos. Needless to say that a lot of smaller, independent creators are hungry for video platforms that’ll enable them to earn more revenue after YouTube’s radical monetization changes.
But for Facebook, a great opportunity comes with a great risk. It’s important to remember that YouTube implemented monetization changes because its platform, in recent months, has been embroiled in troubling, offensive, and controversial content, from unsettling videos targeting kids to white supremacist propaganda to Logan Paul showing a dead man in Japan’s “Suicide Forest.”
By letting creators upload content, Facebook runs the risk of opening the platform to such kinds of explicit, harmful, and disturbing videos. Before it opens up the doors to Watch, it must first establish that it’s ready to sufficiently moderate and screen the swaths of content that’ll eventually come in.
That aside, the goal of Watch is to make people keep on using the site longer that they usually would. As such, Facebook also hopes to move to long-form video eventually, providing users with longer content compelling enough to keep their eyes glued to the screen. In its recent quarterly results, Facebook announced that time spent on the site diminished by 50 million hours in Q4, in large part because of changes to its news feed algorithm. By beefing up Watch, Facebook hopes to change that.