I’ve written before about how social networks are fostering human interactions in what have traditionally been solitary environments. Earlier this year, Facebook launched a new feature called Watch Party that exemplifies this trend. It allows a group of people to simultaneously watch a video and discuss it in real time.
Watch Party has been around for a while, but it hasn’t been broadly available. That changed a couple of days ago; now it’s possible for anyone to share a video for communal viewing in his or her newsfeed, timeline, group, or page. (Here are instructions on how to set up a Watch Party.)
This feature isn’t entirely new; for example, YouTube Live offers similar functionality. However, Facebook’s greater reach makes it an appealing alternative. I’m fascinated with how people interact with each other online. Watch Party is a great example of a feature explicitly designed to get people to interact in real time around a shared experience in an information environment.