By Erin Connolly, Facebook Product Manager
Facebook are launching Watch Party to all Facebook Groups around the globe. Watch Party is a new way for people to watch videos on Facebook together in real time.
Once a Watch Party is started, participants can watch videos, live or recorded, and interact with one another around them in the same moment.
We’ve been focused on building new ways to bring people together around video, create connections, and ignite conversations; Watch Party is the next step in bringing this vision to life.
We are now starting to test the ability for people to start Watch Parties with friends outside of groups, too, and we’ll explore Watch Parties for Pages in the future.
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.
Watch Party in Groups
We’ve been encouraged by feedback from groups using Watch Party as we’ve been testing and rolling out. We’ve heard from group leaders that they’re excited to use Watch Party 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 to join their Watch Party.
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 fewer than 10 people recently hosted a Watch Party with more than 500 comments. Some describe how this shared viewing experience can be used to bridge distance between close friends and family when they can’t physically be together. Imagine sitting down to watch a loved one’s graduation video with your extended family when they couldn’t be there in person, reliving a vacation by sharing videos and swapping memories, or even just hanging out with friends watching funny videos together. The possibilities are endless.
The Dogspotting Society Group has used Watch Party to enjoy funny and heartwarming dog videos together.
Big Ballers – The Official Ball in the Family Group hosted a Season 2 Binge Watch Party so fans could catch up and get excited before the new season. They also hosted live Watch Parties from JBA games, giving the group the chance to cheer and discuss together while watching LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball compete in this new league.
This spring, royal enthusiast groups around the world hosted Watch Parties to watch and discuss Royal Wedding videos together alongside other passionate fans.
KARD, a popular South Korean K-Pop group celebrated their first anniversary by hosting a Watch Party with their fans around the world. They played a teaser clip for their upcoming album and new music video, and also included a Facebook Live broadcast with group members.
Fans of Facebook creator Markian have used Watch Party to watch his videos together in the #SmileSquad Group, and Markian even joined one Watch Party to interact with fans directly.
FIN, a secret women-only group with more than a million members that describes itself as a “no-judgment support group for women” of African culture, has hosted Watch Parties for members to connect and discuss various topics of interest to the group — from news to comedy.
Based on community feedback from the test, we’re launching with two new features today:
First, we’re adding Co-hosting, which lets the host of a Watch Party designate other co-hosts who can add videos and keep the party going.
We’re also adding Crowdsourcing, which lets anyone in a Watch Party suggest videos for the host to add to the Watch Party.