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Facebook Rolls Out ‘Watch Party’ Communal Video Viewing Option to All Groups

The social networking giant, however, did not disclose if the feature would be made available for regular profiles anytime soon

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Facebook refutes report 'Zuckerberg doesn't care about publishers'. Pixabay
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Facebook has launched a new feature called “Watch Party” that allows members of the social network’s groups to watch videos on Facebook together in real time, and comment.

The launch of this feature on Wednesday after about six months of testing reveals Facebook’s plans to go aggressive on the video streaming space that could help the social networking giant to compete against Google’s YouTube.

“Once a Watch Party is started, participants can watch videos, live or recorded, and interact with one another around them in the same moment,” Erin Connolly, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a statement.

To utilise this new feature, members of any Facebook group need to search a video on the platform and invite others to join them. A chat window then opens up for the members to have a discussion on the video as it plays.

On the global launch of the feature, Facebook also added two new features that were not available at the test phase.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

It added a co-hosting feature, which lets the host of a Watch Party designate other co-hosts who can add videos and keep the party going.

Facebook also added crowdsourcing feature, which allows group members to suggest videos for the host to add to the Watch Party.

Facebook also revealed that Watch Party will not be limited to Facebook groups alone. It is now planning to roll out the feature for Pages, which generally refer to profiles of public figures and other organisations.

Also Read: Facebook to Build ‘innovation hub’ in China

“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,” Connolly said.

“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,” Connolly added.

The social networking giant, however, did not disclose if the feature would be made available for regular profiles anytime soon. (IANS)

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Facebook Denies Reports About Marc Zuckerburg’s Indifference Towards Publishers

Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe to test support for subscriptions in "Instant Articles".

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Facebook
Facebook refutes report 'Zuckerberg doesn't care about publishers'. Pixabay

Facebook has denied a media report that cited one of its senior executives as saying that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care about publishers.

The Australian on Monday reported that in a meeting with Australian media executives, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships Campbell Brown said: “Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care about publishers but is giving me a lot of leeway and concessions to make these changes”.

Brown reportedly said that publishers who choose not to work with Facebook will wind up in a dying business.

“Facebook said the remarks were inaccurate and taken out of context,” Fortune reported.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, May 23, 2018. VOA
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

The Australian claimed the story was based on information from five people present at the meeting with Brown who requested anonymity.

Earlier in August, Facebook announced to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the publishing industry globally.

The social media giant, that reported more than $5 billion in profit in the second quarter this year, said it will give $3.5 million towards “Facebook Membership Accelerator”, a three-month pilot programme designed to help publishers with membership models.

“We are going to continue to coach the group of metro news publishers from the pilot programme through the end of this year, and we will reconvene with them in 2019 to focus on subscriber retention,” Brown said in a blog post.

Facebook
Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe.(IANS)

Facebook also announced to contribute $1 million to the 2018 “NewsMatch” campaign which matches individual donations to more than 100 non-profit newsrooms around the country.

Also Read: Slow Disclosure of Tesla Raising Governance, Social Media Concerns

Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe to test support for subscriptions in “Instant Articles”.

“Moving forward, we’ll also be exploring ways to support emerging models like membership directly on Facebook,” said Brown. (IANS)