Facebook Messenger now allows up to 8 users to watch videos together with the new ‘Watch Together’ co-viewing experience.
Videos on Facebook Watch can be viewed with friends and family over Messenger video calls.
That means the content people can watch together is limited to what’s on Facebook. Although that library is expanding to include both licensed content and user-uploaded videos.
“So go ahead and oooh and ahhh over a video by your favorite celebrity, shed a tear over a puppy rescue video, laugh out loud at the latest viral videos, scream during Blair Witch or feel nostalgic while watching your favorite episode of Community. Watch Together will help you feel together even when you’re not.”
Facebook says over 150 million video calls are facilitated through Messenger every day.
To further demonstrate the popularity of video, Facebook adds that over 200 million videos are sent each day through Messenger.
Given users’ penchant for videos, and sharing them with friends, Facebook launched Watch Together so users can enjoy the content together.
“We created Watch Together to make spending quality time with friends and loved ones feel as close to an in-person experience as possible. Whether it’s watching a trending video, a movie, a sports highlight, a makeup tutorial or a Facebook Watch original, the feature allows you to watch your friends’ reactions at the same time.”
How ‘Watch Together’ Works
A co-viewing session can be initiated with a video call in Facebook Messenger.
Swipe up on the screen during the video call and select “Watch Together” from the menu.
From there you can select content to watch, which will play as the video feeds from your friends are displayed at the bottom.
Alternatively, users can create a Messenger Room where up to 50 users can watch content together using the main Facebook app.
However, Messenger Rooms have relaxed restrictions compared to a traditional video call. They’re designed to be more casual in nature.
It’s worth understanding the difference before creating one.
A Boon For Advertisers?
Watch Together is a way for Facebook users to stay entertained and maintain social connections with their friends and family.
In addition, Watch Together serves Facebook’s interests of keeping people on its platform. Perhaps even spending more time on Facebook than they already were.
The inclusion of co-viewing on Messenger may even lure users away from similar features on other platforms – such as Netflix, Disney+, and Twitch to name a few.
With that being the case, Watch Together is a potential boon for Facebook advertisers, considering how ads play before/during videos.
If Watch Together takes off it could cause ad views to multiply. That would certainly keep advertisers happy and encourage them to keep spending a portion of their ad budget on Facebook.
Ad publishers would be wise to keep an eye on this feature and begin thinking about how they can incorporate more video into their strategy.
Watch Together rolls out globally this week in Messenger and Messenger Rooms on mobile for iOS and Android.