Facebook is launching Watch Party, its new format for viewing videos with a group, after about half a year of testing it.
Watch Party, which lets people watch videos together in the digital equivalent of a living room, is rolling out to all Facebook groups on 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. Facebook said it didn't have a timeline for releasing the feature 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. The company is 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 on Wednesday, Facebook said it's tweaking the product following tests. It's adding the ability to co-host, which lets the host of a Watch Party designate other co-hosts who can add more videos to the lineup. Facebook is also 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 it's a live broadcast.
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