You may have noticed a Facebook alert pointing out the arrival of Watch on desktop recently. Today's announcement on all things video makes the worldwide desktop launch official. Facebook is also cramming it on to its stripped-down Facebook Lite app, home to 200 million global users at last count.
Facebook says Watch now attracts 400 million people monthly, and 75 million people watch for 20 minutes on average daily. Still, there are lingering fears over the streaming hub's future. Regardless, Facebook Watch ad breaks are now available to publishers in 40 countries -- with more to come in 2019, alongside ad placements in gaming livestreams. Facebook also plans to expand its fan subscriptions test that allows Groups to charge a premium for subscriber-only content.
Slightly more promising is the fact that some Watch shows seem to be building loyal audiences, hence today's renewals. Facebook's biggest hit is Jada Pinkett Smith and daughter Willow Smith's talk show, Red Table Talk (the most followed show and most active group on Watch). Unsurprisingly, its HQ Trivia-style game show, Confetti, attracts the mosts comments, while the most viewed episode was "Operation Combat Bikesaver" from Mike Rowe's reality series, Returning the Favor.
We're finally starting to get a clearer picture of Facebook's plans for its Watch video hub in the wake of its worldwide launch in August. The social network has been talking up its communal viewing feature (Watch Party), which lets Pages, Groups, or Profiles view videos together. Taking a page out of Netflix's book, it also nabbed some bingeable classics in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly. And it announced a high-profile reboot of MTV's pioneering reality show The Real World. A previous report claimed Facebook was looking to splurge a billion dollars on content this year.