Facebook Watch is scaling up its ad offering and testing live slots

Facebook claims that each month 400 people now spend at least one minute using Watch / Facebook

Facebook Watch – the social network’s TV-style service – will now let brands across 40 countries buy ad space.

Following a US launch last year, Facebook Watch was rolled out globally on mobile in August and inventory opened in a further five markets including the US, Ireland and Australia.

In a bid to woo advertisers, the platform has now brought the number of countries where publishers and creators can monetise up to 40, updated regions including India, Sinapore, Italy and Hong Kong.

In 2019, Facebook said it will roll out more ad breaks in Watch, and test new placements, such as slotting ads into livestreams from gaming influencers. It’s also scoping out the potential for sponsorship deals.

Facebook claims that each month 400 million people now spend at least one minute using Watch. The daily figure is 75 million and on average daily viewers spend more than 20 minutes on Watch.

The ad breaks format in Watch is used across other Facebook platforms on videos longer than three minutes. Fidji Simo, vice-president of product for Facebook, claimed that broadly speaking, just over 70% of mid-roll ads are viewed until the end on Facebook.

With a reputation for normalising endless news feed thumb-scrolling, and having previously misled advertisers over video views and engagement, Facebook is likely hoping a pivot towards longer-form content and "strong" results from Watch ad breaks can convince brands it's found a solution to their completion rate woes.

Facebook Watch hosts a mixture of repurposed and original content. Its own series include Jada Pinkett Smith's talk show Red Table Talk and National Geographic’s We’re Wired that Way – a show exploring humanity’s oddest quirks.

The business has now renewed several original seasons for commission, such as Five Points, Huda Boss, Sacred Lies and Sorry For Your Loss.

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