what the zuck?

Facebook’s Math on Who Is Watching Videos Takes Some Serious Liberties

There are a ton of people clicking on Facebook Watch (perhaps accidentally). Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook has been trying to make Watch, its hub for original video programming, happen for months now. If I’m being honest, I can’t say I’ve watched a single thing. (Apologies in advance for the number of times “watch” is about to occur in this post. There are only so many synonyms for watching a video. You watch it. You just do.) But according to numbers the company released on Thursday, Facebook is pretty insistent that people who aren’t me are watching.

From Facebook:

Three months since our global launch, there are already more than 400 million people monthly and 75 million people daily who spend at least one minute on Watch — and on average, these 75 million daily visitors spend more than 20 minutes in Watch. 

Sounds good, right? I mean, not that great given the platform has 2 billion monthly active users, but still nothing to laugh at given Watch has only been around a few months.

However, it sounds worse once you delve into those 75 million people spending at least a minute on Watch each day. Turns out, that minute doesn’t have to be consecutive, according to a report from Axios. So you could accidentally open up the Facebook Watch tab a couple of times in a day and still be counted in that statistic. For scale, as also noted by Axios, those 75 million watching more than 20 minutes of Watch content a day total “less than 5 percent of Facebook’s total audience.” Which means, if you’re an advertiser, you might need to … watch out. (Sorry.)

Facebook’s Math on Video Views Takes Some Serious Liberties