“Watch Party”: Facebook is Out with Its Latest Time Suck

You don’t realize it’s a problem, but Facebook now has the cure for the dire loneliness of watching online videos by yourself. The social network is rolling out a new feature called “Watch Party,” and you’re invited. It allows you and other users to simultaneously watch videos together–both live and prerecorded. Wow! Just think of it. Finally, there’s a way to bring others with you as you get sucked down the rabbit hole of watching even more cats playing pianos videos.

Here’s how it works: You can share videos with others within Messenger and then yell “Action!” OK, you don’t actually yell, “Action,” because no one would hear you. You hit “Tap to watch together now” (“Action” would have been better) and your chat group members get a notification that co-viewing (<—-there’s a new word) is about to start.  

Facebook is even adding features as we speak (or watch videos together). There are now, or soon to be:

  • Threaded comments, which allows viewers to have conversations.
  • Live commenting, which gives the host the ability to go live and comment aloud as the video plays.

With everyone commenting, it’s like an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on your smartphone, or iPad, or (shudder), your desktop. Fun!

If you don’t have it already, you should see the Watch Party feature on your Facebook feed very soon. So make some popcorn, cue up those segments from Ellen that always make me cry, and  get ready to yell, “Action!” Or whatever.



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