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Facebook Watch Party Makes Live Events Out of On-Demand Videos

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Live video viewing creates more of a social event than on-demand video viewing, Facebook has noticed. So its latest video experiment creates live events out of pre-recorded or live videos.

The feature is called Watch Party, and the social network is testing it now. To begin, a Facebook Group admin or moderator chooses videos for viewing and posts them. Videos can be live or on-demand. Members see the videos playing in the Group page, with everyone watching the same video at the same time. Viewers interact through text comments which appear on the right side of the page in desktop view and over the video in mobile view. Group members are also able to see the video playlist so they know what to expect.

If any platform can make multi-person viewing a success, it's Facebook, which has been making strides in video and has the social graph to pull communities together. The feature is only available to a handful of Groups at the moment, although Facebook plans to expand it soon.

"Today, live videos generate an average of six times as many interactions as regular videos. This year we are thinking about how to bring what makes Facebook Live so special—the interactivity and the community—to more video experiences on Facebook," wrote Facebook vice president of product Fidji Simo in a post

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