Facebook’s new Watch Parties feature has been a huge success, allowing users to connect by watching videos together online.
Since Watch Parties was first added to Groups in July, statistics show that 12 million Watch Parties have been held. With both individuals and brands using Watch Parties as a marketing tool, it’s clear that the feature is only becoming more popular as more users see its benefits. Any social media marketing agency owner needs to familiarize themselves with this new feature to make sure they’re using everything Facebook has to offer.
In this article, I’ll be exploring the reasons behind Facebook’s decision to roll out Communal Videos watching and additional features that will be announced in the next few months!
What is a Watch Party?
There has been a huge rise in popularity of communal video watching among consumers, which is why apps like Houseparty and Facebook message have been such a success, with an increase in engagement with real-time interactions on live stream content.
Facebook has been paying attention to this trend in communal viewing, which is why they decided to roll out their ‘Watch Party’ feature to all people and Pages. With Watch Parties, users and page admins can schedule a time to view any video and invite people along to join in watching and commenting with them.
How Do Watch Parties Increase Engagement?
Watch Party has resulted in a huge uptick in real-time interactions on Livestream content, making it a great tool to help increase video engagement on a brand or business’s page.
Another great feature for engagement with Watch Parties is the comments section. Watch Parties will include comment threads similar to those on Twitter, making it easier to track conversations and start conversations in a Watch Party stream.
By scheduling and promoting Watch Parties on your brand or business’s Page and groups, you will be able to drive participation on your Page, and help users discover other Watch Parties they may be interested in participating in.
The Future of Watch Parties
As the Watch Parties feature is still relatively new, and Facebook continues to analyze data from users’ response, the social network is already planning updates to the feature to make it even better.
In Messenger, they are already testing a communal viewing option to improve the feature. Facebook has already added similar tools like the ‘Premiere’ feature, which allows video creators to broadcast pre-recorded videos at a set time.
The company is also testing a feature called ‘Live Commentating’ that would allow a host to livestream themselves within a Watch Party video to share commentary as the video plays.
These planned updates offer great potential for celebrity insights into programs/movies, and it could also provide a new way for businesses to host product launches or something similar. Businesses can use their team members and experts as hosts or guides of sorts during the communal viewing party, and enabling them to answer questions in real time.
How to Start a Watch Party
There’s no doubt that hosting Watch Parties will help you boost engagement on your Page, so how do you start one of our own? Simply follow these easy steps:
Scroll to the tap of your News Feed and tap the ‘What’s on our mind?’ prompt to create a new post. Or, if you’re creating a Watch Party from your Page, scroll to the top of the page and tap the ‘Write a post’ prompt to create a new post.
Click the ‘Watch Party’ option that appears next to a popcorn icon.
If you haven’t thrown a Watch Part before, you may see a window pop up that describes how the feature works. Click ‘OK’ at the bottom of the window to continue.
Hit ‘Search videos’ at the top of the screen and search for a video or videos to add to the queue for your Watch Party. Note: You will only be able to see videos with a ‘public’ privacy setting when you search for videos. Also, you can simply tap the ‘Add Videos Later’ option at the bottom of your screen to create and share your Watch Party on your News Feed and can add videos to it at a later time.
Once the search results populate, tap the video you want in order to add it to your queue. Note: You are able to tap multiple videos to add all of them to your queue. You can also tap the search bar and enter a new search term if you are looking for a different video to add to your queue. This means your Watch Party doesn’t have to be confined to one video or one subject.
When you’ve added all of the videos to your queue that you want to watch with your friends and followers during your Watch Party, then tap ‘Done’ in the top-right corner of your screen.
In the top-right corner of your screen, tap ‘Share.’ This will share a post containing your Watch Party to your News Feed so your followers will be able to see your Watch Party. Note: You can click the prompt ‘Say something about your watch party…’ if you want to add text to your post before sharing it. This is a great opportunity for you to hype up the Watch Party event to generate interest and get engagement going right off the bat.
Watch Party is a great opportunity for marketers to explore a range of new considerations for promotion and group connection, expanding the real-time engagement of live-stream content to all other video formats. With a bit of creativity, the Watch Party feature could be a great way to help build audience/brand affiliation, and increase engagement and reach.
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