14 things to know about Facebook Watch Party

Last year, Facebook launched its video-on-demand service in the United States. Known as Facebook Watch, the service became available to all users worldwide this year in August. But that's not all Facebook has for video lovers.

The social network is now introducing a new feature for Facebook Watch. Dubbed Facebook Watch Party, it offers a fun online co-watching experience.

If you're new to Facebook Watch Party, here are 14 interesting things you should know about it. But before that, let's first understand the new feature in detail.

What is Facebook Watch Party

Do you remember calling people over to watch a movie together? Well, some of us still do. But what if your friends are not in the same city? How to watch a video together? Sure, you can just play a video on your respective devices and chat about it on any chat app, but it doesn't feel like watching it together.

This is where Facebook Watch Party comes in. It offers a shared viewing experience where participants can watch and comment on Facebook videos in real time. All of this interaction and co-watching of the video happens on a single screen of Facebook.

1. How it works

Similar to actual parties, the host invites people to watch videos together in Facebook Watch Party. The host is the one who creates a party. So, once you create a Watch Party, you will be able to see other members and chat with them about the video. Members can react and add real-time comments on the video.

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2. Availability

Previously, the feature was only available for Facebook groups, but now pages and personal profiles also have access to this feature.

3. Create a Facebook Watch Party

To start a Facebook Watch Party on mobile devices, tap the Create Post box. Then select Watch Party from the list of options.

Facebook Watch Party 1
Facebook Watch Party 2

On PC, navigate to the Create Post area. Then click on the three-dot icon and select Watch Party. The steps are the same for Profiles, Pages, and Groups.

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4. Add or change the party title

The Party title is important because it will help others know what they will watch without joining the Party. This is the first option Facebook gives you when you start a Watch Party. The title is not permanent as you can change it at any time, even after the party is live.

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5. Supported videos

Here is the main question. What kind of videos can you add to the party? Well, you can add any public Facebook video to your party. The video can be a live video or a two-year-old video. The only requirement is that it be public on Facebook. In the case of groups and pages, you can also add your old uploaded videos.

Facebook has categorized videos into categories such as Live, Saved, Suggested, Watched, and Search. You can search for new videos in the Search category.

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6. Video source

Unfortunately, you can only add Facebook videos to the Watch Party. Currently, Facebook does not allow you to add videos from other sources such as Netflix, YouTube, etc. It would have been a great addition if it had been allowed.

7. Multiple Videos

Facebook Watch Party is not limited to a single video. Facebook lets you add multiple videos to your party. You can create a queue of videos where they will play one after the other. You can also add or remove videos after creating the party.

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8. Add co-hosts

If you're busy or need to step away during the Watch Party, Facebook has you covered. It allows you to add a co-host to your Parties. They can add new videos to the queue and control the video.

9. End of watch party

You must end the party manually once the session is over. And if you forget to do so, all videos will still be available to members. However, Facebook will end the video itself after some time if you don't do anything.

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10. Watch Party vs. Facebook Live

Many of you must be wondering what is the difference between Facebook Live and Watch Party? Simply put, Facebook Live is new video captured in real time while Watch Party uses old Facebook videos that already exist on the platform.

It converts an existing Facebook video into a live experience or creates a live session for old videos. Interestingly, you can also host a Watch Party for public live videos. It's a bit similar to what Twitch offers.

11. Who can watch the party

In the case of Groups and Pages, all members can watch the party. On the personal profile, you can restrict visibility by playing with the post privacy settings.

For example, if I want to watch a video only with my close friends, I will set the privacy visibility of the post only to specific friends. Later, you can also invite and add other members.

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12. Can participants suggest videos

Yes, if you've been invited to a Facebook Watch Party, you can suggest videos to the host. It is their wish whether or not to add these videos to the queue.

13. Who controls the video

In Facebook Watch Party, not everyone has the power to control videos. Only the host and co-host can pause, play, forward or rewind a video. Basically, when the host controls the video, it also affects other viewers in the party.

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14. Is the summary available

Similar to live videos, a Watch Party recap will be saved as a post. Users with access to the publication will be able to see the videos viewed during the evening. They won't be able to see the real-time action that happened while you were watching the video, but will only be able to see the original videos that played during the party.

Let the party begin

Facebook Watch Party is yet another attempt by the social network to capture the video segment. It may take some time for users to get used to it. While I like watching content alone and this feature doesn't add much to my Facebook experience, I know people who can't watch movies alone. This feature could change their life as they can now watch real-time videos with someone sitting in any corner of the world.