NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Facebook is trying another way to engage you.
It's called Watch Party and allows Facebook groups to watch live or recorded video together while interacting in real time. From today, everyone can meet in a dog lover's group to see clips of Golden Retriever puppies, while Anglophiles can relive the royal wedding.
Everyone in a group can start a watch party and designate co-hosts to control the playlist and playback. Anyone can suggest videos, and a Facebook notification tells them that a party is just starting. Users can post questions, leave comments, or add real-time responses.
"If you're watching at the same time, there's a lot more conversation," said Fidji Simo, Facebook CEO of Video, to CNNMoney.
It has the same interactive features as Facebook Live, its live video streaming tool. Facebook tested the Watch Party in January. The feature was introduced worldwide on Wednesday.
During the test, Facebook found some groups that held parties that lasted more than 1
Facebook also tests people's ability to hold watch parties with friends so they can share holiday videos, for example.
Facebook's continued efforts with live video could help it compete with Google's YouTube and livestream gaming platform Twitch, said Michael Inouye, principal analyst at ABI Research. Twitch, owned by Amazon, has 15 million active visitors daily and over 2 million unique channels per month.
Inouye also praised Facebook, because it did not push the function on the users. "If you do not want to do it, you do not have to get involved and it will not change the way you view content," he said.
But Inouye also noted that not all content is suitable for watch parties. Friends or group members may not be available for participation at the same time.
Although the social network hopes that Watch Party will encourage people to spend even more time on the platform, the feature offers new opportunities for old problems.
Some people have used the Facebook live tool to force violence, including murders and suicides. Simo said Facebook will encourage users to tag offensive or problematic videos while relying on more sophisticated tools. "We've also done a lot to improve our AI to proactively tag violent content," she said.
With this approach, the company is successful. Facebook said it removed or added warnings about 3.5 million violent content in the first three months of the year, and 86% of respondents were identified by its technology.
Facebook also has a team of employees who review content and monitor live broadcasts once they have reached a certain level of popularity. If a live stream video violates its standards, the company interrupts the broadcast.
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