Facebook Watch is a disaster... so now it will target an older audience
Facebook's plan for Facebook Watch to be a viable competitor to YouTube seemed a little unlikely -- to say the least -- and it would seem that the pessimists were right. Facebook Watch has proved to be a dud.
A little over a year after launch, the on-demand video service has gained an audience of just 50 million people. This might initially sound like a large number, but YouTube has -- admittedly over a number of years -- amassed over 1.8 billion users. The problem appears to be that younger audiences are simply not interested in Facebook Watch, so Facebook is now switching the focus of the service to an older market.
- Your Time On Facebook rolls out, revealing how much time you waste in the social network's mobile apps
- Facebook defends the privacy of Portal as the smart devices start shipping
- UK hits Facebook with maximum possible fine for Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal
- YouTube alternative Facebook Watch rolls out globally
Facebook has increasingly struggled to maintain its holder on a younger audience, and for those who have remained loyal, the social network is not the place to go to watch anything other than short video clips; YouTube has something of a stranglehold here. But it is not just younger viewers that Facebook Watch is failing to attract. There is a knock-on effect that means advertisers are not particularly interested in the platform.
To help combat this, Facebook is now pivoting Facebook Watch to an older audience -- the 30-50 market. As reported by CNBC, the social media giant has been in talks with at least three media companies and is looking to provide content that has a more traditional feel to it. CNBC says:
Facebook has hinted it wants Watch shows aimed at post-college millennials around parenting age and older. One media company said Facebook was asking them for shows hosted by traditional celebrities rather than social media stars. Facebook responded most positively to talent in their 30s through 50s. Facebook has hinted it wants Watch shows aimed at post-college millennials around parenting age and older. One media company said Facebook was asking them for shows hosted by traditional celebrities rather than social media stars. Facebook responded most positively to talent in their 30s through 50s.
The report goes on to say: "Another company said Facebook said it wanted shows for a broad audience, but not focused on anyone who was under the age of 20. Any teen shows need to have adult themes that could attract older viewers. Facebook was also asking for more formats that may be familiar to traditional TV viewers and middle America, like reality and talk shows".
Facebook issued a statement about the matter, saying:
We see Watch and News Feed serving complementary purposes, so it makes sense that video consumption and discovery are happening in both places. People are increasingly coming back to Watch for an intentional, people-centric viewing experience, and we've seen that people view videos for five times longer in Watch compared to in News Feed. Most importantly, people are connecting with friends and other fans around those videos on Watch in a way they don't on other platforms.