Facebook has officially launched a new feature called Watch Party that will let users simultaneously watch Facebook videos together. Their streams will be synced so they can comment and react while the host adds videos to the watch queue and controls playback. Multiple people can “host” the Watch Party, which gives them the ability to choose videos to add. Attendees can suggest videos but not actually play them. For now, Watch Parties can only be started within Groups — not Pages — and the videos have to be hosted on Facebook itself, although they can be Live or prerecorded. The company first announced and starting testing Watch Party in January.
This type of feature is one I’ve heard lots of people request from Netflix and Spotify. People want to enjoy content with friends or family even when they’re apart. Facebook has invested heavily in its Watch content, so it’s not surprising to see the company building out additional features. I just don’t know how many people want to sit on Facebook and watch videos with their random Groups. Facebook says it built the feature to help video streaming become more of an experience than a passive action.