Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Facebook introduces Watch Party to let you watch shows together with friends

Facebook introduces Watch Party to let you watch shows together with friends Facebook introduces Watch Party to let you watch shows together with friends
Sherri Watson | 20 January, 2018, 03:54

About 12 percent of broadband-equipped households watch live video streams from services like Facebook Live or Twitter Periscope, but the figure rises to 19 percent for people aged 18 to 24, Parks said.

The company made a decision to conduct initial testing within Groups, since members are bound by common interests and are more inclined to watch videos together.

Facebook has introduced a feature called "Watch Party" that will let the members of a group watch videos and interact with each other at the same time. "One billion people use Facebook Groups every month to connect around their passions and hobbies", Simo said in a blog post, further noting that videos are usually a major part of these interactions. The company is starting with Groups as it is now used by over a billion users each month.

Facebook's turning its push for well-being through active, not passive, content consumption into a feature with its new test of "Watch Party".

"In a Watch Party, members of a Group can watch videos together in the same space at the same time", said Facebook's vice president of product, Fidji Simo.

Basically, what the feature does is to get all the members of the group to watch a video together in their group page. While the idea of watching videos together isn't really new, it's the first time it's coming to Groups that have been selected to try it out. But maybe I'm just not the target audience for "watch parties". When watching on a mobile device, any comments will be overlaid on the video, while on desktop comments will appear in the sidebar to the right of the video. Facebook's new algorithm will prioritize posts that spark meaningful interactions while demoting posts from businesses and publishers.

The group-watching experience dovetails with Facebook's return to its roots - friends and family sharing updates with each other - that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced January 11. Unlike many online publications, we don't have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.