Dec 18, 2018 - Technology

Facebook tries to lure TV advertisers to purchase ads on "Watch"

Illustration of facebook logo and dollar signs

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook announced last week that the criteria used to determine whether someone is a daily active visitor of its product "Watch" is by measuring whether a user spends at least 1 minute on the Watch platform per day, but Axios has confirmed that those 60 seconds do not need to be consecutive.

Why it matters: In order for Facebook to lure advertisers who typically buy ads on television to purchase video ads on Watch, it needs to convince them that the social platform's audience is just as engaged with shows on Watch. But TV networks measure a "view" of a show based on whether a show was watched for 60 consecutive seconds.

Our thought bubble: This doesn't necessarily mean that Facebook doesn't have a handful of very engaged users — it said that its daily visitors to Watch spend more than 20 minutes with the service per day — but it means that the measurement criteria is still too opaque for ad buyers at big brands to be able to buy Watch ads with the same confidence they buy TV ads.

The bottom line: There's a reason Facebook wants you to believe that Watch is pulling in TV-like engagement: It wants to sell TV-like video ads.

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