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Facebook Watch grows to more than 720 million monthly users

Users are also spending more time in the social network's video hub.

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Facebook's logo. 

James Martin/CNET

Facebook said Wednesday that more people are visiting its video hub Facebook Watch and spending more time there compared with the end of last year.

The number of people visiting Watch every month increased to more than 720 million, up 80% from the 400 million reported in December. The number of daily visitors rose to 140 million, up 87%, from 75 million in December. Facebook counts visitors only after they have spent at least one minute on a Watch video, a sign that the viewing is intentional.

The average time a visitor spent with Watch rose to 26 minutes, up 30%, from 20 minutes.

The growth in viewers suggests Facebook has had some success luring visitors to its video project, which went global less than a year ago. Facebook Watch streams original shows, such as Huda Boss, Five Points, Sacred Lies, and Sorry For Your Loss.

Still, the number of people who visit Facebook Watch is smaller than other video sites. YouTube has more than 2 billion logged-in viewers every month. As Facebook tries to attract more people to watch videos, it also has to make sure it moderates content that violates its rules such as hate speech, nudity and violence.

Facebook said it's partnering with entertainment, news and sports producers around the world to bring new shows to its online audience. Those include The Voice Germany and MTV's The Real World. The company recently started a news program, called Uncovered and produced by the UK's award-winning Channel 4 News, to combat online news.

Facebook will also stream sports, including highlights from International Cricket Council's world cup and Australian Football League.

Facebook already streams a handful of Major League Baseball games