Jordyn Woods’ emotional interview with Jada Pinkett Smith on Facebook Watch’s “Red Table Talk” had a record number of viewers on its first day of release — making it the platform’s most-watched original episode ever in that time frame.
The episode, “Jordyn Woods Shares The Truth,” was posted at 12 p.m. ET on Friday, March 1. Within 24 hours, it had been viewed by about 7.5 million Facebook users for at least 60 seconds, according to the company. That’s a separate metric from Facebook’s public views counter, which tabulates a “view” if a video is watched for as little as three seconds.
In the segment, Woods spoke exclusively with Pinkett Smith about rumors that Woods had sex with NBA star Tristan Thompson, the father of Khloe Kardashian’s daughter, at a party over Presidents Day weekend. Woods — who has been Kylie Jenner’s best friend — admitted she kissed Thompson and grew “touchy-feely” with him, but denied sleeping with him and asserted that she wasn’t the reason he and Khloe split up.
“This is grown-woman mess on another level,” Woods told Pinkett Smith.
How exactly the 7.5 million viewers for the most recent “Red Table Talk” stacks up with the rest of Facebook’s lineup of funded content is unknown: The company did not provide comparable stats for other shows, except to say the Woods episode drew the biggest audience among all originals. Also, Facebook is citing the total number of people who viewed at least one minute of the episode rather than the average minute audience (which is the TV industry’s standard).
Meanwhile, the Woods episode of “Red Table Talk” also garnered 285,000 social and press mentions in less than a week, per Facebook — also a record for Watch originals.
In addition, within the first 72 hours, the Jordyn Woods episode of “Red Table Talk” registered over 800,000 interactions, including reactions and comments. The social engagement stats are important measures for Facebook, which is funding content for Watch with the goal of helping spur the growth of user communities and overall activity.
“Red Table Talk,” with 5.5 million followers on Facebook, has been one of the company’s leading originals since the company first rolled out Watch in the U.S. about 18 months ago. Produced by Westbrook Studios and Very Tall Productions, the talk show centers on Jada Pinkett Smith, along with her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne, in a series of candid conversations with guests that have included Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo, and survivors who appeared in the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly.” The premiere episode featured a conversation between Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s ex-wife, Sheree Zampino.
There’s also a companion discussion group for “Red Table Talk” with more than 477,000 members, who discuss a range of issues like addiction, loss, domestic violence, and race relations.
Meanwhile, Westbrook Studios — a short-form content company, owned by Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Miguel Melendez — is producing another show for Facebook Watch, from Pinkett Smith’s husband: “Will Smith’s Bucket List,” with the actor engaging in different adventures and stunts around the world. Since bowing Feb. 27 on Facebook Watch, the first episode, in which Will urges Jada to go skydiving in Dubai, has notched over 40 million views (based on the three-second standard).
Even with the relatively strong numbers for “Red Table Talk” and Will Smith’s new reality show, it’s not clear Watch is bringing in significant ad dollars for Facebook. The company generates the bulk of its revenue from ads in users’ News Feeds, but is trying to win more ad business for longer-form episodic video. Facebook is now pitching advertisers on TV-style upfront buys for Watch programming with fixed rate cards, and also is emphasizing the “brand safety” of the original and third-party content in the Watch queue.