Facebook offers a Watch Party feature that allows its users to simultaneously watch Facebook videos together. Their streams are synced so that they can comment and react in real-time. This is handy during the COVID-19 pandemic when experts are recommending that people separate and stay home as often as possible, as they can use the feature to still feel connected with loved ones.

Here's everything you need to know about how Watch Party works.

How does Facebook Watch Party work?

You can create a Watch Party from your News Feed or timeline, in a group, on a page, or from any video you're watching (but you'll need to be an administrator or editor to start a Watch Party on a page).

How do you start a Facebook Watch Party?

Creating a Watch Party

News Feed

  1. To create a Watch Party from your News Feed or timeline, click Make Post.
  2. Click the Watch Party option.
  3. Click Add Video to search for a video or click a category.
  4. You can also click Add to Queue next to any videos to add to your Watch Party.
  5. You can choose to add a description for your Watch Party, then click Post.
  6. You'll see a message that says “Your Watch Party Is About To Begin.”
  7. Once you're in the Watch Party, you can add friends to watch with you.

Groups

  1. From your News Feed, click Groups in the menu and select your group.
  2. Click Write Post at the top of the group, then click Watch Party.
  3. Click Add Video to search for an additional video to add, or click a category.
  4. You can also click Add to Queue next to any videos to add to your Watch Party.
  5. To add group members to your Watch Party, type their name and click Invite
  6. Any people you invite will receive a notification that they've been invited to join.
  7. When someone joins, you'll see their profile picture in the bottom left of your screen.

Pages

  1. From your News Feed, click Pages in the left menu.
  2. Then select your Page where you'd like to post the Watch Party.
  3. Click Create Post at the top of the Page, then click Watch Party.
  4. Click Add Video. You can search for an additional video to add, or click a category.
  5. Click Add to Queue next to any videos you'd like to add to your Watch Party.
  6. You can choose to add a description for your Watch Party, then click Post.
  7. To add people to your Watch Party, type their name and click Invite.
  8. When someone joins, you'll see their profile picture in the bottom left of your screen.

Videos

  1. From a video you're watching, click Share at the bottom.
  2. Click Start a Watch Party.
  3. If you'd like to add other videos to your Watch Party, click Add Video in the bottom right.
  4. You can search for an additional video to add or click category.
  5. Click Add to Queue next to any videos you'd like to add to your Watch Party.
  6. You can choose to add a description for your Watch Party, then click Post.
  7. Once you're in the Watch Party you can add friends to watch with you.

When in a Watch Party

  1. Once your Watch Party starts, you can start a live audio commentary.
  2. You can also click Add Video to add additional videos to the queue.
  3. Click the Invite button in the bottom left to invite friends to your Watch Party.
  4. You can click "Write something..." to chat with others who are in the Watch Party.
  5. You can add emojis, GIFs, photos or videos to your comments.
  6. To end your Watch Party, click the "..." in the corner and click End Watch Party.

After a Watch Party ends

  1. A recap will be saved on your timeline as a post.
  2. All videos watched during the party and any comments made will be visible.

Finding live Watch Parties

If a Watch Party is happening in a group you're in, it will appear as a post when you visit that group.

Re-watching Watch Parties

Once you finish your Watch Party, a recap will be saved in your group as a post, which shows all the videos watched during the party. The comments made during the original Watch Party will also be available for viewing.

What's the point of Watch Party?

Facebook said Watch Party is useful for hosting Q&As, sharing behind the scenes details of a video, swapping tips and tricks, showing makeup tutorials in real-time, learning new things like a workout technique, and inviting special guests to join their Watch Party. Since it launched, Facebook says its seen Watch Parties, both big and small, generating thousands of comments.

There were even groups that dedicated more than 10 hours to a single Watch Party, "with different members coming in and out throughout the day," Facebook said in a blog post. This shared viewing experience can also be used to connect families who live apart by bridging the distance between them when they can’t physically be together. The possibilities are endless.

"Imagine sitting down to watch a loved one’s graduation video with your extended family when they couldn’t be there in person, reliving a vacation by sharing videos and swapping memories, or even just hanging out with friends watching funny videos together," Facebook added.

Who uses Watch Party and why?

Here are some examples provided by Facebook:

  • Dogspotting Society Group used Watch Party to watch dog videos together.
  • Big Ballers hosted a Season 2 Binge so fans could catch up together.
  • KARD, a K-Pop group, celebrated its anniversary with fans via a Watch Party.
  • FIN, a women-only group, hosted parties for members to discuss topics.

Where is Facebook Watch Party available?

Facebook first announced and started testing Watch Party in 2017. In 2018, Watch Party became available around the globe.

Want to know more?

See Pocket-lint's other handy Facebook guides: