Few Facebook Users Say They’re Using Its Watch Service

August 28, 2018

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Industries | Media & Entertainment | Social Media | Video | Youth & Gen X

It’s been a year since Facebook launched its “Watch” video-on-demand service, which allows users to ad-supported original shows from independent studios. But usage of the service remains “modest,” according to research on the topic from The Diffusion Group (TDG).

TDG surveyed 1,632 adult Facebook users to see the extent to which they were aware of – or used – Facebook Watch.

Fully half of the respondents reported not even having heard of it. Another quarter (24%) had heard of it but never used it, leaving roughly 1 in 4 having used it at some point.

There was some frequency of usage among those who reported having used the Watch feature: slightly more than half reported doing so at least weekly. All told, though, just 14% of the adult Facebook users surveyed said they used Facebook Watch either weekly (8%) or daily (6%).

There appears to be plenty of room for growth in the use of Facebook Watch, judging by separate research. Recently, Nielsen reported that among social media users who watch video content within social media sites and apps, fully 72% of smartphone users in the 18-34 age bracket do so on a daily basis.

Moreover, in a recently-released survey [download page] of 1,382 US adults, Shareablee found that almost half (47%) of 18-24-year-olds agreed that they would watch their favorite TV shows on social media were they available. It’s true that appetite for watching video content and/or shows on social media seems to be highest among youth, but 38% of respondents to Shareablee’s survey ages 25-34 and 35-54 also agreed that they would watch their favorite shows on social media, as did almost one-quarter (23%) of respondents ages 55 and older.

For its part, Nielsen’s report indicated that almost half of adults ages 65 and older who watch video on social media using their smartphones do so on a daily basis.

Even if content creators aren’t finding large audiences on Facebook, it can be a strong marketing vehicle. More than 8 in 10 adults ages 18-34 said they follow or engage with more than 2 TV shows or TV networks on social media, according to Shareablee’s study, as do 74% of 35-54-year-olds and 70% of adults ages 65 and older.

So while Facebook Watch hasn’t yet garnered majority awareness, Facebook continues to be the primary social network through which adults of all ages engage with TV shows, per Shareablee. And it would be wrong to underestimate Facebook’s potential in the long-run as a video content provider, argues TDG…

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