The COVID-19 pandemic has seen streaming services adopt interesting technology such as the similar co-viewing features. While many users could have expected it, Facebook was not quick to announce such a feature. The company had actually announced plans to develop a co-viewing experience at its F8 developer conference two years ago. And here it is – named Watch Together!
The new feature will allow friends and family to watch videos together over Messenger. The feature works with all Facebook Watch video content, including original programs, user uploads, creator content, live streams, and soon, music videos. For starters, it can be used by up to 8 people in a Messenger video chat on mobile, or by up to 50 people in Messenger Rooms.
How to use Facebook Watch Together
To use the feature, you have to first be in a Messenger video call or a Messenger Room. From Messenger, you are able to start a co-watching session by selecting the new option from a drawer that pulls up from the bottom of the screen.
Once you get started, you can easily browse or search to find something to watch together. Facebook Watch content is organized into categories like TV & Movies, Watched for content that you recently watched, Uploaded for your own videos, and Suggested.
Interestingly, all participants can help choose videos though can’t create playlists or queues. Everyone can also stop, pause, jump forward or back in the videos, too.
Another point to note is that official music videos will not immediately be available in this co-viewing experience. However, they should be added in the next few weeks, initially in the U.S., India and Thailand to start. Each market will also feature localized content under the TV & Movies section.
For now, this feature is only available on iOS and Android mobile devices. However, Facebook intends to have web support ready in a matter of weeks, and other platforms, like desktop, will follow.