Following testing since the beginning of the year, Facebook is now launching Watch Party to Groups around the globe. The feature allows people to watch videos on Facebook together and interact in real time.
Facebook says it “has been focused on building new ways to bring people together around video,” by creating connections and igniting conversations. Back in January, it started to test its Watch Party feature, allowing members of Groups to watch videos, live or recorded, and to interact with each other while watching them. Following positive feedback from groups that use Watch Party, Facebook has now announced that it is launching the feature to all Facebook Groups around the globe.
Facebook says that Watch Party has proven very useful for large communities for things like “hosting Q&As around particular hobbies such as cooking or crafting, sharing behind the scenes details of a video, swapping tips and tricks for things like home improvement, decorating, or makeup tutorials with members in real time, learning new things like a workout technique or musical skills, and inviting special guests.”
Watch Parties often have highly engaged members who generate hundreds and even thousands of coments while watching together. There are groups that have dedicated over 10 hours to a single Watch Party, with members coming and going throughout the day.
Smaller communities have used the feature effectively as well. Facebook mentions a group with less than 10 people that “recently hosted a Watch Party with more than 500 comments.”
Facebook is also now starting to test the ability for people to start Watch Parties with friends outside Groups. Watch Parties for Pages will be explored soon as well. Finally, based on community feedback from its test so far, Facebook is launching two new features in Watch Parties: Co-hosting, which allows hosts to designate other co-hosts who can add videos, and Crowdsourcing, which allows anyone in a Watch Party to suggest videos for the host to add to the Watch Party.
To celebrate the global launch of Watch Parties, Facebook has organised a Weekend of Watch Parties, with many Facebook Groups participating. You can find out more about this and stay updated on the latest Weekend of Watch Party happenings here.