Facebook is expanding its Watch video platform, which currently funds news shows from CNN’s Anderson Cooper and far-left outlet Mic, at the same time that Mark Zuckerberg’s social media powerhouse continues to crack down on conservatives.
“Over the past year, we funded a number of original shows for Watch, and many have found strong, engaged audiences. Our funding strategy has always been about kick-starting an ecosystem of content,” declared Facebook. “We will continue investing in some original shows, and we will really lean into supporting a wide range of amazing video content from creators and publishers around the world to help our partners find success with their videos.”
In June, the company revealed they would be fully-funding original video content from CNN’s Anderson Cooper, far-left news outlet Mic, ABC News, and anti-Trump news anchor Jorge Ramos —whose daughter worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election campaign.
“Earlier this year we made a commitment to show news that is trustworthy, informative, and local on Facebook. As a part of that commitment, we are creating a dedicated section within Watch for news shows produced exclusively for Facebook by news publishers,” declared the platform’s Head of Global News Partnerships, Campbell Brown, in June. “With this effort, we are testing a destination for high quality and timely news content on the platform.”
Facebook is doubling down on fully-funded video programming as it faces criticism from President Donald Trump about its censorship of conservatives. The platform recently marked a wide range of articles from Breitbart News and the New York Post as “spam,” which the company later called a “bug.” Conservative employees have united to protest what they call the “intolerant” liberal culture of the company.
Facebook Watch rolls out globally on Thursday. The site’s users will have a personalized Watch feed, which will include programming created by pages and creators they already follow, along with Facebook’s fully-funded content inevitably added as suggested viewing.
The Silicon Valley giant is also enabling content creators to monetize their videos by including ads. Similar to YouTube, Facebook will enable ad breaks before videos play and “mid-roll,” or during the video itself. Video ads are immediately available the U.S., U.K., and select other countries, and will expand elsewhere next month.