Facebook after releasing a co-watching feature for Instagram back in March, is now launching out a similar feature for its Messenger. This new feature will allow users to host video parties through the Messenger Rooms or the video call, with up to 50 friends in the app.
— Messenger (@messenger) September 14, 2020
“Today, we’re announcing Watch Together so you can enjoy Facebook Watch videos with your friends and family and see their reactions in real-time over Messenger video calls and Messenger Rooms. 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 make you feel together even when you’re not.”
The key focus here is the sense of community, this function has been added to enable users to stay connected amid the COVID-19 lockdowns. Co-watching through a video call provides users to feel some level of interaction and connection which is again beneficial for building community and engagements. This is another option to consider though you could do this already via Facebook’s Watch Party Option. But it does make sense for Facebook to release this feature as with more than 150 million video calls are made on Messenger every day.
To initiate a Watch Together stream, users just have to start a Messenger video call normally or create a Messenger Room, then after that just swipe to explore more options and select “Watch Together”
As seen in the above sequence of images, users can search for the video they wish to watch or can choose from the recommendation lists. From business point of view, this is an opportunity to tap into communal watching as Facebook directly states an example in its announcement.
“To celebrate this launch, we partnered with celebrity fitness trainer and author Melissa Alcantara to create a series of fitness videos to enable people to virtually work out with their friends and motivate each other to achieve their fitness goals. According to a study conducted by Messenger in the US, 70% of people who work out with a partner have achieved a fitness goal in the past 6 months; only 45% of people who work out alone have done the same.”
This might be something to consider by focusing on creating co watching content that will encourage users via communal participation. Watch Together is launching out this week globally in Messenger and Messenger Rooms on both Android and iOS.