Facebook's Watch Party is here to stream videos with your friends

It's like a big digital living room.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read

Watch Party's shared viewing of videos will roll out to groups across Facebook on Wednesday. 


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 Watch

Watch this: Facebook launches Watch Party to binge clips with your pals

Facebook's obsession with video can 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 crowdsourcingwhich lets anyone in a Watch Party suggest videos for the host to add.

The format is similar to Premieres, which lets video creators on Facebook post a prerecorded video as if it's a live broadcast.

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