Facebook is doubling down on its Watch video platform with an initiative designed to encourage more digital talent to create programming for its audience of more than 2 billion users.
The social network is pairing digital publishers like BuzzFeed and Tastemade with creators like Hannah Hart and Angela Kinsey to incubate new projects that will help seed Watch with the type of influencer-centric programming that is already rife on YouTube.
Among the early partnerships are a Conde Nast show with Keke Palmer and two Shots Studios projects with influencers Lele Pons and Rudy Mancuso. Publishers have the potential to work on multiple projects with Facebook, which is providing funding for the shows and licensing them for its video platform.
BuzzFeed is among the publishers with multiple projects in the works. It is working on a Tasty-branded series with lifestyle influencer Hart, an animated project featuring Cuppy the Good Advice Cupcake, a series for its As/Is and Cocoa Butter verticals with Quinta Brunson and Freddie Ransome and a Pero Like project with the stars of that video channel.
“Our new Facebook series are extensions of our BuzzFeed brands,” said Thespi Guatieri, BuzzFeed’s director of show development. “We are fusing the pop culture expertise of BuzzFeed with our creator networks to elevate our brands and engage our audience. We’re thrilled to take the natural next step with Facebook as our partner to expand the creator-first format across our brands.”