Facebook Plans Amazon Jungle Documentary, Orders Shows From BuzzFeed, Tastemade

Ricky Van Veen - Getty - H 2018
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

The social network says 720 million people monthly spend at least a minute on video platform Watch.

Facebook is heading into the summer with plans to stream several new shows on its Watch video platform. 

In addition to launching its reboot of MTV's The Real World and new scripted originals starring Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick and Jessica Biel, the social network is padding out its programming with several unscripted shows. 

Watch, the nearly two-year-old ad-supported video service, has ordered documentary series Curse of Akakor, which will follow six investigators as they search for the lost city in the Amazon jungle and question why so many explorers have gone missing in their hunt for the city of gold. It has also ordered shows from publishers including BuzzFeed, Tastemade and Studio71. 

Ricky Van Veen, head of global creative strategy and media partnerships at Facebook, said in a blog post that Facebook "is quickly becoming a place where content and conversation organically come together."

After stacking Watch with programming like drama Sorry for Your Loss and Katherine Zeta Jones starrer Queen America in the fall of 2018, Facebook has slowed the release of originals this year. Now, it is kick-starting a period of new programming with the June 13 premiere of The Real World. Shows like Sorry for Your Loss and Kerry Washington-produced Five Points will also return with new seasons over the next few months. New upcoming shows include podcast adaptation Limetown, starring Biel, and Human Discoveries, an animated series featuring the voices of Efron and Kendrick.

The company also has publisher-produced projects coming including BuzzFeed's Mi Quinceanera Come True, Studio71's Fetch Me a Date and Tastemade's Sundays at Nonna's

Facebook says Watch now reaches 720 million people monthly who spend at least one minute on the platform. (That's up from 400 million people in December.) On average, daily visitors spend more than 26 minutes with Watch. 

Watch is a free, ad-supported platform. While Facebook funds some programming, publisher partners are also able to upload programming directly to Watch and share in the ad revenue. The company said the number of Watch pages earning over $10,000 per month in ad revenue has increased by more than three times, but did not share how many of those pages there are.