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Facebook’s Watch Party feature is now available to all pages and profiles, and some new wrinkles have been added.
The social network began testing Watch Party in January as a way for members of a group to view videos simultaneously and react to them, and in July, the feature was extended to all groups worldwide.
Product managers Matthew Labunka and Eric Price revealed in a blog post that since all groups gained access to Watch Party in July, the feature has been used more than 12 million times.
They added that Watch Parties result in eight times as many comments as non-live videos in groups, and the number of daily Watch Parties has increased sevenfold since July.
Labunka and Price wrote, “While this engagement is encouraging, we’ve heard from page administrators that the ability to host Watch Parties from their pages would enable them to reach and engage a broader audience around videos, and we’ve been testing with a handful of partners—from digital entertainment producers to sports pages and news publishers.”
They added that pages and groups can now schedule Watch Parties, enabling them to drive participation in advance and giving people a way to more easily find Watch Parties that interest them.
Threaded comments were also added to Watch Parties, making it easier for people to interact and converse while watching videos that are generating many comments.
Finally, Facebook said it has begun rolling out live commentating, which lets Watch Party hosts go Live to share commentary while videos are playing.
The social network had been gradually allowing people to host Watch Parties of their own, and that feature was rolled out globally Tuesday, enabling any user to start a Watch Party directly from a video they’re watching or their Timeline.