A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display. File Picture: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC
A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display. File Picture: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC

Paris — Facebook said on Wednesday that it is rolling out its Watch video service globally, which has already been available in the US for more than a year.

"We designed the product not just [for] a mindless consumption but to get people engaged," said Fidji Simo, Facebook’s vice-president for video.

Facebook launched Watch amid a shift in video viewing habits away from traditional television to online platforms, including Netflix and Hulu, and with more people watching both professional and user content on services such as YouTube.

Facebook has been ramping up its video offerings with original shows and, this week, announced new formats including interactive game shows, quizzes and polls. The announcement comes two weeks after Facebook revealed it will broadcast Spanish top flight division football matches for free in the Indian sub-continent, and Champions League matches in Latin America.

"Content that we fund are a very small part of the contents available on Watch," said Simo. Facebook is hoping instead that videos made by users themselves are what will keep people watching.

Simo said Facebook had spent a lot of time developing tools so creators of videos can integrate ads themselves. "We remain confident that monetisation will help creation."

AFP