By Erin Connolly, Product Manager
Today, we’re 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.
Weekend of Watch Parties
To celebrate this global launch, we’ve lined up a Weekend of Watch Parties, when Facebook Groups around the world will host Watch Parties to connect their communities from July 27 to July 29. Check out a few of the groups who will be participating:
- Buzzfeed’s Tasty Group is a community of foodies where group members share and discuss favorite recipes and cooking tips. The group will host several Watch Parties over the weekend: Friday’s Watch Party will be determined by polling the group ahead of time, Saturday will focus on cooking tips, and Sunday will consist of recipes to prep for a Sunday dinner with family and friends!
- Physician Moms Group, a community that brings together women physicians — who are also parents — to collaborate and support each other while sharing their medical expertise, will host a Watch Party with videos around women’s empowerment, motherhood, and medicine-related videos.
- Outdoor Afro, a leading network and community that celebrates and inspires African American connections and leadership in nature, will host a Watch Party for a video where its Boston Outdoor Afro community tackles Mount Washington’s Tuckerman Ravine.
- Fitness Sisters, a community built around women supporting and motivating each other on their health and fitness journeys, will host a Watch Party with videos on the process of building healthy fitness friendships.
- Red Table Talk Group will poll members about their favorite episodes and host a Watch Party this weekend featuring the top three. Fans will be able to re-watch and discuss with each other and may even get a visit from a special guest in the Watch Party.
- Female Travel Bloggers, a community of like-minded women who write about travel and empower one another through advice and encouragement, will host a Watch Party with videos on travel and women’s empowerment.
- The Broke Black Girl, a group that gives African American women a safe space to discuss personal finance challenges and find support, will host a Watch Party with videos around current events, women’s empowerment, and financial and career planning.
- Echte Mamas, a German-based moms’ group discussing real stories, experiences, and anecdotes of motherhood will host a Watch Party centered on sharing tips and advice from other moms around the world.
- Mama Tribe from Australia is looking forward to hosting Watch Parties to connect mothers in their communities including the Mama Tribe Gold Coast, Brisbane and Central Coast, who come together to develop friendships and share their experience of motherhood and common challenges in real-time.
- Jamie Oliver’s 5-day Veggie Challenge will host a Watch Party for some of Jamie’s favorite veggie recipe videos — from sweet potato chili to aubergine daal — and will be asked to help select videos they want to see next.
- Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix Fan Group will host a Watch Party of fan-favorite videos that feature Tia’s home life and family — from a marriage Q&A, to a conversation with Tia’s Dad and brother, and an episode about Tia’s newborn baby girl.
Learn more and stay updated on the latest Weekend of Watch Party happenings here.