Facebook began testing its Watch Party feature in January, enabling members of a group to view videos together—Live or recorded—comment on them and react to them. On Wednesday, the social network announced that Watch Party is available to all groups worldwide.
Two new features are also being introduced to ease some of the burden on group administrators and moderators, who were responsible for choosing which videos to add to Watch Parties while the feature was being tested.
Co-hosting allows the host of a Watch Party to add co-hosts, who, in turn, can add videos to the list and keep the Watch Party going.
And Crowdsourcing enables anyone in a Watch Party to suggest videos for the host to add.
Product manager Erin Connolly also revealed in a blog post that Facebook is now testing the ability for people to start Watch Parties with friends outside of groups, as well as the addition of Watch Parties to pages, writing, “We believe that if people can start a Watch Party directly from their profile or from a video they’re watching, the experience of watching video on Facebook can become even more fun and social.”
She added, “In our testing, we’ve seen Watch Parties, both big and small, with highly engaged members often generating hundreds or even thousands of comments while watching videos together. There were even groups that dedicated more than 10 hours to a single Watch Party, with different members coming in and out throughout the day. We’ve heard Watch Party can be useful for smaller communities, too. For example, recently a group with less than 10 people recently hosted a Watch Party with more than 500 comments.”
Facebook is celebrating the global rollout of Watch Party to groups with a weekend of Watch Parties, with Connolly saying that participating groups will include:
- Buzzfeed’s Tasty Group
- Physician Moms Group
- Outdoor Afro
- Fitness Sisters
- Red Table Talk Group
- Female Travel Bloggers
- The Broke Black Girl
- Echte Mamas
- Mama Tribe
- Jamie Oliver’s 5-day Veggie Challenge
- Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix Fan Group