By: Nick Gambino
Facebook Watch is the company’s video-on-demand platform and includes popular shows like Red Table Talk and Humans of New York, but until now, those of us on the outside had no idea what kind of numbers they were putting on the board.
The company has finally divulged that they’re seeing 1.25 billion visitors every month. Since we have no idea how many users were viewing content on the platform before, we really have no comparison that tells us whether it’s going up or down.
Seeing as the current pandemic has drawn more traffic to streaming services like Netflix, it’s safe to assume they are getting more visitors, which is probably why they’ve chosen this time to release numbers.
“Our aim is to instantly entertain people when they visit Watch,” Paresh Rajwat, Head of Video Products at Facebook, said in a blog post. “We’ve made it easier for people to find more videos they’ll like with better navigation, expert curation and smarter machine learning. And we’re working on ways to connect people with videos that match their interests.”
As promised, Facebook has released a new feature that allows user to customize their Watch feed with “Your Topics.” This isn’t an unheard-of feature in the streaming sphere, but now that Facebook has added it to Watch, you’re no longer at the sole mercy of what their algorithm thinks you’ll like.
The Your Topics feature allows you to subscribe to various categories that interest you. The video content suggested to you are then filtered according to those topics, at least for the most part. It looks like you’ll still be at the whim of their undisclosed algorithm at times.
“Due to the many different ways your Watch feed is determined and how videos get categorized, you may see videos in your Watch feed that you aren’t interested in,” a Facebook message reads. “Some videos related to the #Topics or Pages you follow may not appear in your Watch feed.”
By making Watch a go-to platform for live events, sports, news, music videos, and original shows, Facebook is looking to gain a footing in an extremely competitive market dominated by Netflix. Their monthly visitors show that people care about what they have to offer and by adding a customizable feature they might just maintain their footing.