Facebook is officially launching Watch Party, its new format for viewing video with a group, after about half a year of testing it.
Watch Party, which lets people watch video together at the same time like a digital living room, is rolling out to all Facebook groups Wednesday. Facebook will also begin testing Watch Party for pages, which are basically profiles that belong to an organization or public figure instead of a mere-mortal individual. Facebook said it didn’t have a timeline for when the feature would be available on regular profiles.
Over the last two years, Facebook has pushed aggressively into video, as it jostles with YouTube to vacuum up marketing dollars migrating online from TV. It prioritizes video — and particularly live video — in its algorithm that decides what you see at the top of your News Feed, and last year it launched a new hub for original shows called.
Facebook’scan manifest in complex ways, too. Facebook is also exploring a way for people to insert a live video stream picture-in-picture inside a prerecorded video that people are viewing together in a Watch Party, Facebook social video product lead Erin Connolly said in an interview Tuesday.
As it launches Watch Party widely for groups Wednesday, Facebook said it was tweaking the product following its tests. It’s adding the ability to cohost, which lets the the host of a Watch Party designate other cohosts who can add more videos to the lineup. And it is adding crowdsourcing, which lets anyone in a Watch Party suggest videos for the host to add.
The format is similar to, which lets video creators on Facebook post a prerecorded video as if its a live broadcast.
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