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article imageFacebook to offer 'watch videos together' feature

By Tim Sandle     Nov 18, 2018 in Technology
Facebook is testing a simultaneous co-viewing of videos feature that will be supplied via the Facebook Messenger application. The aim is to create greater community feel and engagement.
Facebook are of the view that people want to take social media engagement to a new level by sharing watching, discussing and remarking on videos which a group of friends can view at the same time. This would represent an enhancement of its Facebook Messenger service, according to The Verge. Currently most videos are solo-watching experiences, with videos appearing on the news feed, in a Facebook Group or via an Event post.
The aim behind the move is to increase the amount of time that people spend on the Facebook Messenger feature as a way to counter the decline in numbers in terms of people using the main Facebook news feed. Facebook is in decline among younger people, who use services like Instagram and YouTube more often than they will turn to Facebook.
The proposed add-on to messenger builds on Facebook's experiment which was initiated earlier in 2018 - Facebook “Watch Party”, a feature that lets Groups view videos simultaneously. This function It allows Group admins to pick any public video on Facebook and then to show this to their members at the same time with a dedicated comment reel to create a “shared viewing experience”. The idea is to take queue of pre-selected videos to make a sort of ad hoc video channel, and that’s the so-called Watch Party.
The proposed change to Messenger was spotted by TechCrunch in the form a development code. The code describes Messenger allowing a user to “tap to watch together now” and “chat about the same videos at the same time” with chat thread members receiving a notification that a co-viewing is starting. Quite when this addition to Facebook will be available is currently unknown.
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