How Facebook’s Watch Party Feature Can Help Brands Build Engagement With Their Audience
The feature will encourage community activity through shared video streaming sessions, giving viewers the ability to comment simultaneously and explore branded content socially
Facebook released a new feature that allows group pages to host and share video streaming. The service is called Watch Party, and it is equipped with technology that enables users to interact through video. Before the release, the video streaming function was in beta testing.
The feature lets members of a group host streaming sessions that are visible to everyone, who can comment in real time. The host acts as an administrator and a moderator, which can be helpful in the event that negative or unruly behavior occurs. Videos can be hosted by more than one person and can be organized in a watch party.
This new feature provides a new way for not just Facebook users but also brands to interact with audiences. Shachar Orren, chief storytelling officer at Disney-backed storytelling platform Playbuzz, explained to PSFK the social commerce advantages that such a tool permits:
“Today’s consumers are receptive to [digital branded content as long] as it’s molded into an immersive, personalized experience they deem worthy of their leisure time. Watch Party harnesses this element of engagement and couples it with video, enabling participants watching at the same time to chat through comments or utilize reaction tools, similar to when they watch a Live video.” He continues, “By pairing interactivity with video, and the ability to see friends’ reactions in real-time, Watch Party provides a virtual microcosm of engagement for users.”
After creating a watch party, the hosts can fill it with a queue of videos. Hosts can post the videos on the group’s wall with a caption and photograph if needed. The videos are synced so all members will watch at the same time and hosts can scrub back and forth. “This is a step in the right direction for Facebook, who clearly understands the importance of personalizing digital conversations—whether it be on someone’s status, or within a group viewing a video,” says Orren.
The social media platform’s new feature caters to the rising popularity of the way audiences gain awareness of as well as interact with brands, products and services. Orren highlights the significance of Facebook’s addition of this feature, saying, “Whether or not brands end up adopting this tool as a method to harness the attention spans of their Facebook community, Watch Party still points to an important trend: users want to share their points of view on content in real-time, and be able to interact with said content. This can come in the form of commenting, liking, swiping, flipping, voting, ranking, taking a quiz and more. To put it simply, the medium brands place their content in must compel involvement.”
As of now, Watch Party is only available to Facebook Groups, and the company is currently testing the service for Pages.