Facebook Watch is now available outside the U.S.

Facebook Watch is now available to the platform's international users. (Facebook)

Facebook Watch, the company’s platform for original, licensed and creator community video content, is finally going global nearly a year after launching in the U.S.

Facebook is touting the international launch as an expansion of opportunities for creators and publishers around the world. In coordination with the international launch, Facebook Watch is expanding its Ad Breaks program to give more partners more ways to make money from their videos. The company is also offering new insights, tools and best practices for Pages in Creator Studio.

Even before the international launch, Facebook said that the audience for Watch had been growing. The company said that every month, more than 50 million people in the U.S. watch videos for at least a minute in Watch—and total time spent watching videos in Watch has increased by 14x since the start of 2018.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceVideo!

The Video industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Cable, Media and Entertainment, Telco, and Tech companies rely on FierceVideo for the latest news, trends, and analysis on video creation and distribution, OTT delivery technologies, content licensing, and advertising strategies. Sign up today to get news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

Despite the numbers from Facebook, some analysts and research surveys have found that Watch is still struggling to find an audience. A recent survey by the Diffusion Group found that half of all adult Facebook users had not heard of Watch.

RELATED: Facebook signs £200M deal for Premier League soccer rights in Southeast Asia

"Despite the slow build of Watch users, it would be remiss to underestimate Facebook's long-term potential as a large-scale video provider," said TDG President Michael Greeson in a statement. "As we first noted in 2016, prominent social platforms like Facebook are looking for ways to exploit their massive scale to sell new video services to their users, much as Amazon has done with Prime. Watch is a small first step in that direction, as is the $1 billion Facebook set aside in 2018 to fund original programming to populate the service."

But giving Facebook’s international users a chance to access Watch should boost those audience numbers. And the expansion makes sense considering Facebook’s recent efforts to secure live sports rights around the globe.

Earlier this summer, Facebook paid £200 million ($264.4 million) to broadcast matches in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos from 2019 to 2022. That includes all 380 matches in 2019. In January, Facebook hired Peter Hutton, CEO of Discovery-owned Eurosport, to head up its live sports licensing rights efforts.

Suggested Articles

AT&T spent months hyping up its new streaming TV service but AT&T TV has fallen short of the incredibly lofty expectations the company set for the…

Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, has hired Melanie Hamilton as vice president of national sales.

Amid pressure from federal regulators and consumers, YouTube might be planning to do away with advertising that targets children.