On Wednesday, Facebook announced that it is testing a new feature that will allow users to watch videos with friends and groups all at once.
The social media giant revealed the Watch Party feature, which, again, lets Facebook users watch videos with group members and friends at the same time while commenting and interacting with one another. The goal of this new feature is to make watching videos a lot more fun and more of a social experience.
Vice president of product at Facebook Fidji Simo said in a blog post that the team working on the feature is hoping to create an experience that brings different people together and "inspire human connection."
How To Use Watch Party
Fortunately, Facebook made starting a Watch Party very easy for users. First, the group moderator will need to select a video and post it to the group's timeline. However, as of now, users can only post spontaneously and not schedule a post in advance.
Users of the group will know a Watch Party is happening with a widget that will appear on the group's Facebook page. They will be able to join in and watch the same video as everyone else in the group.
Members of the group can join whatever video they want, as they'll be able to see what videos are part of the Watch Party from a widget on the group's page.
Anyone on a mobile device can also partake in the new feature and will see group members' comments appear as they do in Facebook Live or Instagram Live videos. On desktop, the comments to the video will appear in the right side of the video where the comments usually fall for pictures.
Facebook said that it built the Watch Party feature because it found that live videos on social media have a lot of social interaction with users, much more so than prerecorded videos shared on the site.
While this feature is great, it is not new by any means. The Microsoft console Xbox 360 has a Party Mode feature that allows users to speak with their friends online while watching videos together. Unfortunately, the mode was removed back in 2011 and drew wide protest from users.
Other Facebook News
This comes after the social media giant announced that it will be making big changes to its News Feed feature. Facebook has announced that one of the big changes coming is the reduction in the amount of low-quality videos served to its users.
The website is further testing another feature that will separate users’ posts from content from professional news organizations. News stories will now be placed in a separate area called Explore, which is currently being tested in Slovakia, Cambodia, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Serbia.