Facebook Watch, the on demand video service from the world’s biggest social media company, is growing fast.
In the first six months of 2019, it nearly doubled its daily audience, up to 140 million from 75 million at the end of 2018.
The good news is: it’s free. If you have a Facebook account, there’s a slew of high quality TV shows at your fingertips.
Will Smith, Avengers star Elizabeth Olsen, Anna Kendrick, Zac Efron and Catherine Zeta Jones all have shows on the site, which is slowly waging war against paid subscription streamers such as Netflix and Amazon. (See our full Facebook Watch v Netflix v Amazon Prime Video analysis here)
Find out everything you need to know about the service below, along with information about its best shows.
What is Facebook Watch? How can I watch it?
Facebook Watch is the social media site’s ad-supported streaming service. It can be accessed by all Facebook users worldwide.
Introducing Watch. From reality to comedy to live sports, see what shows people are talking about and share your favorites. Just tap the Watch icon to jump right in.
Posted by Facebook Watch on Thursday, September 28, 2017
To access Facebook Watch on desktop, sign into your regular Facebook account, and click on the “Watch” button that appears in the left-hand column of the news feed.
The streaming service can also be accessed easily via the Facebook smartphone app.
Is Facebook watch free?
Yes! As the streaming service makes its money from ads, the service is free to watch.
What are the best shows on Facebook Watch?
Red Table Talk
The most popular show on the service, by some margin, is Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk, whose channel has 6.4m followers. An episode, with guest Jordyn Woods, has 32 million views.
In it, Jada, her daughter Willow and her mother Adrienne sit down for “candid” conversations with “family and friends”. The Smiths being The Smiths, this often means famous people. But the conversations really do go deep on important issues, like in the recent chat with Sex and the City’s Kristen Davis, which saw her confront her white privilege as a mother of two adopted black children.
Sorry for Your Loss
This drama about a young widow – which debuted to glowing reviews in September 2018 – is the greatest indication that Facebook are starting to get serious about TV.
It stars Elizabeth Olsen (best known as Scarlett Witch in the MCU) as Leigh, a 20-something who quits her job as an advice columnist following her husband’s sudden death and moves in with her mother and sister. Its second season will debut in October 2019.
Kerry Washington produces this teen drama, which stars popstar Hayley Kiyoko.
It revolves around a trio of high school students from different backgrounds in Chicago, who experience a life-altering event. Like Sorry To Bother You, it has also been renewed for a second season, which will be released in 2019.
A quasi-anthology series about Isobel (Zoe Chao), a homeowner in Los Angeles who interacts with tenants of her spare room, which she rents out AirBnB-style. It’s High Maintenance sans stoners, with a little more optimism sprinkled in. The second season flips the concept, as she travels the country and rents from others. There have been great guest appearances from the likes of Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and Jemima Kirke (Girls).
An animated comedy from the production company behind BoJack Horseman, starring Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick. It is centred around a group of humans in the pre-historic age, and sees them encounter humanity’s best and worst innovations for the first time. The first season launches on Tuesday 16th July.
What is a Facebook Watch party? How can I host one?
A Facebook Watch party is a feature that allows you to watch Facebook Watch shows with friends. You can create a watch party from your news feed – just click “create post” and “Watch Party”.
Once you’re in the watch party you can add friends to watch with you.