While Facebook Watch is still a new offering, it’s showing high levels of viewing. Morgan Stanley checked out its performance metrics in December and found that it’s getting a lot of use. While it’s not a match for YouTube just yet, video marketers need to be aware of just how strong its appeal is.
“We are encouraged (and admittedly surprised) by this early Watch traction as it speaks to Facebook’s ability to drive adoption of new products,” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak in his report. “We view Watch (and video) as the next key long-term driver of Facebook engagement and monetization.”
According to the report, 40 percent of U.S. Facebook users view video on Watch every week. The number is higher for heavy Facebook users: 60 percent of those on Facebook for 3 hours per day or more view Watch content every week.
Facebook Watch is driving much higher viewing rates for young people: While 24 percent Facebook members view Watch video each day, that number jumps to 40 percent for those 16 to 24.
In terms of what they view, Facebook Watch users are a lot like YouTube users: About 75 percent view short-form video (content under 20 minutes in length) every week, while nearly 50 percent view long-form content (20 minutes and longer) every week.
Even though Facebook is off to an impressive start, the report is quick to confirm that YouTube is still the reigning online video destination. YouTube users view a much wider array of content, while Facebook Watch focuses attention on a narrow range of popular or promoted videos. Morgan Stanley also surveyed people about their YouTube viewing and found that 78 percent had seen a YouTube video in the past year, while only 43 percent had seen something on Facebook Watch.
As a Variety article notes, Morgan Stanley says Facebook Watch is the social network’s “next key long-term driver of [Facebook] engagement and monetization.” The survey questioned 1,400 people in the U.S.