Facebook launched a more socially active version of Facebook Watch on Thursday and it is preparing to take the service global within the next year. The new version of Facebook Watch makes it easier to discover new content creators, watch videos liked by your Facebook friends, and have conversations while watching content with others.
“It is built on the notion that watching video doesn’t have to be a passive experience,” said Fidji Simo, Facebook’s vice president of video, speaking to the BBC. “You can have a two-way conversation about the content with friends, other fans or even the creators themselves.”
The company intends to spend between $1 and $2 billion to launch Facebook Watch in international markets. It has plenty of reason to count on a solid return on investment overseas from a sports standpoint according to Sam Carp of SportsPro.
The move to launch Watch globally comes as Facebook continues its drive into the live sports rights market, following its acquisition of Premier League rights in Southeast Asia, La Liga rights in India and Uefa Champions League rights in Latin America and Brazil.
Facebook Watch currently has only eSports rights in the United States, but it was the home of Tom Brady’s Tom vs. Time documentary and will host a forthcoming documentary series about Cristiano Ronaldo as well.