Facebook Groups and Watch Parties (new video product being tested)

Facebook is strongly focused on helping people connect with one another lately.  Last week, Mark Zuckerberg informed us that business pages would very soon be getting next to no organic views of their posts anymore.  We heard digital marketers all over the world sobbing instantly.  If you are still bummed out about that, there are things that you can still do to get your posts seen on Facebook.   One of the suggestions is to consider setting up groups, or increase your usage of existing Facebook groups.

Yesterday, Fidji Simo, the VP of  Product for Video at Facebook, announced that some Facebook groups will have access to a new product called Watch Parties.  Interestingly enough, Mark Zuckerberg did mention that we would be seeing more posts from friends and family, and from Facebook GROUPS !!!!  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

Here is how she described Facebook group Watch Parties:

I’m really excited about a new video experience we are starting to test today with a handful of Groups: Watch Parties.

In a Watch Party, members of a Group can watch videos together in the same space at the same time — videos are chosen by the Group admins and moderators, and can be any public videos on Facebook (live or recorded). With everyone watching, commenting and reacting to the same moments together, it creates a shared viewing experience for video that helps build the kind of community and engagement we’ve seen with Live.

The Watch Party viewing experience is special because of the people you are watching with. We’re starting with Groups because one billion people use Facebook Groups every month to connect around their passions and hobbies – from foodies, to dog lovers, to sports enthusiasts, to fans of video creators – and video is a huge part of this interaction. While this is just a small test at the moment, we’ll be learning, and hope to expand Watch Party in the future.


Ever since we heard the news last week about Facebook groups having priority on the newsfeed vs. business pages, I have been thinking of ways to benefit my clients with Facebook groups.  There are opportunities there and this new Watch Party that is being tested would definitely be an asset.

My focus is healthcare marketing, so let’s imagine a hospital-run Facebook group that focuses on pregnant patients.  You could choose a public video on Facebook, perhaps from your business page, or better yet, live stream a public video of a prenatal course.  The expecting Moms and Dads could watch together at the same time and post comments and questions to one another while watching.

Mari Smith, the Queen of Facebook, posted about the new Facebook group Watch Party as well and she compared this new video product to YouTube circa 2008.  We’ve all seen how far some Youtubers have come along since the earlier years of YouTube.  If you start building your audience now, this might be your opportunity to grow a huge following on Facebook.

Would you use Watch Party, either as a Facebook user or as an admin of a Facebook group?  I know I would, and I’m hoping that my clients’ groups are or will be part of the test group.

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