facebook watch
facebook watch

Based on the articles that I write, you probably think that I’m anti-Facebook. That is not the case at all. I am the type of person that wants things to succeed, and wants people to be happy in that success. My problem with Facebook isn’t the premise of their service or any of the products that they’re attempting to deliver. No, that’s not it at all. My problem with Facebook centers around how they have been handling themselves lately. Why go on record so many times and lie?

There is an old saying “the gig is up”. That saying, however, is often debated as to whether the word is “gig” or “jig”. When someone says the “gig” is up, they mean that whatever has been going on, has played its course and it’s now over. When someone says the “jig” is up, it indicates that a person has been found out, and now law enforcement is on their way. I love this particular saying because you can get it wrong, and in both cases, it applies to Facebook in some way.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I do want to focus on something that Facebook might be doing right. But it’s something that you might not have heard about. Facebook has a video hub on their platform, known as Watch. Watch hasn’t been having the same privacy or security issues that the rest of the platform has been having. Which might be one reason why it’s not getting as much attention. It launched last year and reportedly has a $1 billion programming budget. I wonder if we did a bit of digging if we would find out where some of that funding originated? More specifically, did it come from advertisers who were willing to pay Facebook for them to turn over user data. It’s just a theory.

What Watch is lacking right now is the fact that it doesn’t have a signature show – like House of Cards on Netflix. It just hasn’t really come forward as something that you need to tune into. That said, Facebook thinks Watch is doing great. In their defense, they thought they were doing great for many months now, but the constant barrage of news stories aren’t all lying. What might surprise you is that they aren’t really looking for “massive viewership”.

“What we’re really going after is the amount of conversation and engagement, and that can be realized both in niche communities or in broad hits. But we’re not really going for massive viewership.”

Fidji Simo, Head of Video for Facebook

So if they’re not going to viewers, what are they going for? I mean, that statement seems fairly odd doesn’t it? Facebook’s strategy isn’t to become the next Netflix, but rather to take YouTube’s place when it comes to free video that you can watch with ads. Of course, there has there has to be ads! Otherwise it wouldn’t be viable for Facebook.

Not everyone is convinced that this is going to work. According to Michael Greeson, who is the president and director of research at the Diffusion Group has indicated that half of all adult users have never heard of the service. He thinks that it might be the next step in the company learning what kinds of products and services to deliver. Either way, I’m happy that I’m not delivering yet another Facebook scandal, but this doesn’t suggest they have it together either.