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Facebook moving on with plans to challenge YouTube in ad space

Facebook WatchFacebook has held talks with media buyers about planned changes to its Watch offering that will help the social media giant compete more directly with Google’s YouTube, according to a CNBC report.

According to CNBC, citing unnamed sources, Facebook is mulling an expansion of Watch that will involve opening the platform up to a wider range of content creators to increase the amount of long-form video on the platform.

CNBC says that Facebook does not plan to buy rights to shows but to allow creators to post them on the site for free in return for a share of advertising revenue. It says that Facebook is also planning to enable advertisers to select the shows they want to advertise against.

News of Facebook’s plans to open Watch to more creators and enable them to make money from advertising is not exactly new. The social media outfit launched Watch last year as a platform for episodic programming as it made a bigger push into original video. The company’s VP of media partnerships, Nick Grudin, said at the time that Facebook would open the platform up to more creators in the future and that they would be able to make money from advertising “over time”.

At MIPCOM in October, Facebook director of video Daniel Danker also said that while Facebook was “seeding the platform” with a small number of commissioned shows, it would focus on creating an open platform for “anybody to be able to make a show and connect to audiences”, with “the vast majority of shows on the platform” financed by sponsorship.

However, news of Facebook’s latest bid to tempt media buyers comes after YouTube introduced stricter criteria for which channels can run ads as part of its ongoing clampdown on inappropriate content on the service.

The Google-owned outfit last month announced plans to tighten up rules for who is eligible for the YouTube Partner Programme and said that Google Preferred content – top channels that YouTube aggregates into easy-to-buy packages for brand advertisers – will be manually reviewed.

Since the launch of Watch, Facebook has signed content partnerships with a number of players including Scripps and Discovery.