Since video is the undisputed king among all social media formats, it’s no wonder that Facebook is pushing heavily on integrating videos as much as possible with the casual social experience of their platform.
The latest adjustment is Facebook Watch Party – a brand new way for Facebook groups to watch videos together in real time. This new functionality lets all members of a group watch a video at the same time.
Facebook Watch Party for Small Businesses
This new type of video integration was announced at the end of 2018 but very few people predicted that it will eventually turn out to be a great marketing tool for businesses.
With a little bit of imagination, small businesses can use Facebook Watch Party to create an additional engagement bridge with customers during live events and interactive presentations of new products. For online businesses, Facebook Watch Party can be a powerful tool capable of boosting your webinars audience and make your customers more likely to attend.
So far, Facebook Watch party can only be started inside groups and with friends outside of groups. However, Facebook’s Product Manager has confirmed that they’re currently exploring the possibility of creating a Watch Party equivalent for Pages:
“We are now starting to test the ability for people to start Watch Parties with friends outside of groups, too, and we’ll explore Watch Parties for Pages in the future.”
If you were planning to jump straight into using Watch Party to promote your small business, you’ll have to wait. As of now, Facebook hasn’t announced when the feature will become available to business pages. Even for casual use, there’s a chance that the new feature is not yet available in your region.
Keep in mind that co-watching is not a new thing. Popular platforms like Twitch have been doing it for a while with impressive results. But until now, every service of this kind was centered around the video creator rather than facilitating an interconnected community.
If Watch Party seems familiar to you, it’s probably because Microsoft has tried it before with Party Mode on Xbox 360. Party Mode allowed users to talk to each other while watching Netflix. Even if Party Mode has since been discontinued on Xbox, that doesn’t mean that Facebook won’t be successful with its adoption. Looking at previous trends, it’s very likely that other companies will introduce similar services on their platforms if Facebook is successful with Watch Party.
Facebook Watch Party aims to take co-watching one step further. It wants to be a tool capable of refocusing this co-watching experience towards peer-to-peer interaction. If all goes according to plan, small business owners should expect to see an engagement boost if they get it right.
Small businesses can capitalize on this new engagement opportunity to build interactive relationships with their clients and encourage sales. But until you are able to use Watch Party to elevate your small business, you need to wait until Facebook finishes it’s testing phase and releases Watch Party for brands and businesses.