Thoughts on Facebook Watch

With the launch of WatchFacebook is tackling YouTube head on.

The social network behemoth has been chipping away at YouTube for the past couple years. Zuckerberg has not held back in sharing his goal to own the social video space – recently stating that Facebook will be mostly video in 5 years.

Although Facebook has been prioritizing native video and live video within the site’s feed above all other content over the last couple years they haven’t had the same features to make them a true YouTube competitor. That’s all changing. With Watch – Facebook is not only launching YouTube style Watch pages (eerily similar to YouTube‘s channel pages), they’ve also adopted a number of similar features like the discover page and following which is comparable to a YouTube ‘subscribe’ button.

Perhaps most importantly Facebook is formally launching monetization for creators as part of Watch. Previously only a select group of carefully curated partners were allowed to monetize their content – something YouTube has allowed for over a decade via their YouTube partner program. In allowing users to monetize their content its likely influencers will be tempted to jump ship (and audiences will likely follow).

With Facebook‘s 2 billion active users vs YouTube‘s 1.5 billion, its not unreasonable to assume they have a chance at dominating social media inclusive of social video.