Very similar to Netflix Party – a Chrome extension for watching Netflix remotely with friends, which synchronizes video playback with group chat – Facebook launched Watch Party, which uses only videos from Facebook Watch (online video service demand) and other media published on the platform.
In the version of Facebook to watch the videos in real-time with friends, it is possible to do this in groups and, in the future, on pages, using a computer or mobile phone.
Erin Connolly, a product engineer at Facebook, said that the Watch Party is a new way for people to watch videos together, live or recorded. Once the Watch Party is started, group members can view the videos interacting (with comments, likes and reactions) with each other and at the same time in the chat.
You do not have to be the administrator to create or schedule a Watch Party but the permission to create new posts follows the privacy chosen by the creator/owner of the group on Facebook.
“We are testing the possibility for people to create Watch Parties with friends outside of groups and we will also explore the feature for pages in the future,” he explained.
Watch Parties can be created in large or small groups, with hours of duration and several videos in the playlist, with different members coming and going.
How to Create a Watch Party on Facebook
- In the news feed, click on groups and select a group;
- Click on “Watch Party” at the top of the group;
- Click on “Add video” and search for a video or click on a category (watched, group, live, saved or suggested), which makes it easier to find;
- Click “Add to queue” next to the videos you want to add to the Watch Party;
- Click “Finish”.
As with other types of posts, you can choose to add a description to the Watch Party and then click on “Publish”. You will see the following message “Your watch party is about to start” with a dark background and a bag of popcorn, as in the cinema.
How to add friends to a Watch Party on Facebook
To add friends to the Watch Party, enter their name and click “Invite” next to their profile photo, then click “Finish”. All friends you invite will receive a notification that they have been invited to join your watch party. When a friend accepts, you’ll see their profile photo in the corner of the screen.
When the Watch Party starts, you will be able to:
- Add extra videos to the queue (playlist);
- Invite to add more friends to the group;
- Click on Write something … to chat with your friends;
- Click to add emojis, GIFs, photos or videos to comments;
- To finish, click on “End watch party” and create a permanent post.
After the group finishes a Watch Party, a recap will be saved in your group as a normal publication that will show all videos watched in a carousel format.