Facebook adds new feature to allow users to watch videos together online
Facebook has announced that now on users will be able to watch videos with their friends online using the social media company’s Messenger app that will allow them to see reactions in real-time.
This new feature called Watch Together will allow a user to add up to eight people through a video call and up to 50 people through its videoconferencing tool Messenger Rooms.
The new feature inside the messaging app lets users view videos from Facebook Watch while also seeing a live video of their friends.
To use the new Watch Together feature, users have to first use Messenger video call or a Messenger Room, they cannot use it directly from the Facebook Watch tab or anywhere else. From Messenger, the users will be able to start a co-watching session by selecting the new option from a drawer that pulls up from the bottom of the screen. From the interface users can then browse or search to find something to watch together.
A user needs to swipe up on a video call or Messenger Room and tap the new Watch Together option. Facebook will suggest videos for users to watch, or they can browse categories or search for a specific video. Facebook Watch content is organized into categories like TV & Movies, Watched, Uploaded and, Suggested.
Users are not allowed to create playlists or queues. Not only one person drive he experience for others. Everyone can stop, pause or jump forward or back in the videos.
Initially, this feature is globally starting on iOS and Android mobile devicesbut Facebook intends to have web support ready in a matter of weeks, and other platforms, like desktop, will follow.
The company launched the tool in July to take on Zoom Video communications a platform that became popular due to the coronavirus.
As per the data from Facebook, there are now 150 million video calls on Messenger in a day, and people send 200 million videos to each other daily. Stan Chudnovsky, who runs Messenger said, “It’s really getting more and more visual, and it continues to grow very, very fast.”
Facebook has also joined the competition of companies who are in hurry to dominate the stay-at-home market as millions of people turn to online platforms to stay connected for work, social life, and school amid health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joint video consumption is the most popular new app feature of 2020. Disney Plus introduced its own version, GroupWatch, following Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Twitch. Third-party apps like Scener also let people watch multiple different services together; Scener includes HBO.Netflix also runs a similar feature called Netflix Party that allows multiple users to join in and watch a film on the same screen.
Other joint video platforms can be enjoyed on the larger screen of the laptop or desktop, whereas Watch Together can work on a smaller mobile phone screen. However, the Watch Together feature can be used in either portrait or landscape mode.