Facebook has launched its latest bid to topple YouTube by expanding its video service to all of its 2.2 billion users.

The social network's "Watch" feature, a section on its app, is designed to take on YouTube directly, by serving as a dedicated home for videos on Facebook instead of mixing them with status updates and other posts.

It features a feed tailored to each user's interests, including sports, news clips and live videos from celebrities.

Facebook launched Watch in the US a year ago and expanded the feature worldwide yesterday, despite claims the feature has fallen flat in the US.


The company has embarked on a string of video initiatives in an attempt to draw advertising revenues from both Google-owned YouTube and traditional television advertisers.

Facebook has made videos more prominent in its news feed, introduced a live video feature and dabbled in exclusive material, including buying Premier League football rights in several countries and Major League Baseball in the US.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, also recently launched a separate app dedicated to video.

However, the company has struggled to challenge YouTube's dominance.

A survey found just 14 per cent of Facebook users in the US tried Watch at least once a week, and 50 per cent had never heard of it.

The company's video advertising revenues were estimated to be about $3bn ($4.5b) last year, compared to some estimates of $13b for YouTube.

Facebook has made moves to attract more "creators" personalities who make a living through internet videos from YouTube.

The company has signed up names such as the British adventurer Bear Grylls, as well as television networks such as Fox News.