Facebook has launched its Watch video platform in Canada and other countries around the world.
The platform, which originally debuted in the U.S. one year ago, provides Facebook users with a dedicated hub filled with videos based on the content they like. A ‘Watchlist’ will show the latest videos added from pages you follow. Clicking on one of these pages will bring up a feed made of up its most recently uploaded videos.
Meanwhile, a ‘Top Videos for You’ section will display some of the currently most popular videos that you may be interested in, based on which pages you have liked.
Facebook is also looking to drive social engagement through the Watch platform. While not available at the moment, Facebook says it will add “new video experiences” at a later date, including Watch Parties (which allow users to view videos together in real time) and other content focused on audience participation.
Facebook is also planning to invest as much as $1 billion into creating original video content for Watch. As part of this initiative, the company is launching a Watch-exclusive drama series called Sorry For Your Loss next month, which will focus on a young woman coping with the loss of her husband.
Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Infinity War, Wind River) and Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: Episode IX) star in the 10-episode series, which is set to premiere on September 18th.
Facebook Watch can be accessed from within the main Facebook app on Android and iOS via the shortcuts bar or the ‘More’ bookmark. Watch is also available on Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Oculus TV.
According to Facebook, more than 50 million people in the U.S. have come to watch videos for at least one minute in Watch since last year. Moreover, Facebook says that total time spent watching videos in Watch has increased by 14 times since the start of 2018.
However, a poll from earlier in the month revealed that half of adult U.S. Facebook users hadn’t actually heard of Watch.