Facebook Watch Party - what is it and how do I host one?

Facebook recently stated that in 2019, they are increasingly focusing on 3 main topics: Stories, Messaging and Watch (Video). Watch is Facebook’s video solution (like youtube or igtv). And part of the increased focus on Watch is the Facebook Watch Party!

FACEBOOK WATCH PARTY – WHAT IS IT?

So what is a Facebook Watch Party? You can think of it as an online movie night! You can now organize watch parties, which means that you can you get together to watch videos that have been uploaded to the Facebook Watch platform, as well as videos from your groups or pages, or any other public video on Facebook. You can watch simultanously with a group of people, and you can comment simultanously, which creates a sense of community and a chance to engage with your followers.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FACEBOOK WATCH PARTIES FOR ENTREPRENEURS?

Since Watch is 1 of 3 key areas of focus for Facebook, Facebook is giving Watch Parties a lot of attention in its algorithm. Which means that when you start the host party, many people will get a notification saying “Paulien (<– insert your name here) is hosting a watch party”, compared to for example the low number of people that will receive a notification when you post inside your group or on your business page.  We as entrepreneurs can benefit from that focus on Facebook Watch Party, especially now that they are still relatively new!

Here are 3 ways to use Watch Parties for your business:

  • Collect a set of inspiring videos for your tribe and watch them together. This can create a sense of community and gives you an opportunity to engage with your followers / tribe.
  • More eye balls on your live video: You can do a Facebook LIve and turn it into a Watch Party to increase the number of people that get a notification about your video (= higher reach because Facebook gives Watch Parties a lot of visibility in its current algorithm)
  • If you are a regular video content creator, then you can bundle a few videos into a Watch Party and watch them with your followers, and allow them to live comment. This could be great for training, or for a product launch! An additional benefit compared to a live video is that you can just watch the videos like the other people in the watch party, so you can concentrate on engaging, instead of on the topic of your video.

 

HOW TO HOST A FACEBOOK WATCH PARTY

Where can I host a Facebook Watch Party?

You can host a Facebook Watch Party on your personal profile, on your business page and inside your Facebook Group.

How do I start a Facebook Watch Party?

On desktop, you can start the Watch Party by creating a post, as you can see here. In the apps for phone and ipad, it is very similar:

 

Click on “Watch Party” as shown above. Then, you will be taken to a screen where you can select the videos you want to add to your party:

  • Search – This is where you can browse through existing Watch content on Facebook.
  • Pages – Select a video from a Facebook page you manage. This is a great option if you want to binge watch a bunch of your own videos.
  • Watched – Choose a video you’ve watched previously.
  • Live – Choose a live video by someone who is livestreaming publicly.
  • Saved – Select a video you’ve previously saved. You can save videos by clicking on the 3 little dots and then “save video”. Make sure that the video is set to public, or else the video want be broadcasted.
  • Suggested – Pick from a list of recommended videos, based on what you’ve been viewing.

A pro tip: I prepare my watch party a few days before it actually launches. I copy paste all the URLs of the videos I want to watch to a trello card (or word file). Then once you are ready to start the Watch Party, you just copy paste the URL into the search bar you see below, and you will find your video and you can add it to the watch party as shown below:

Once you are done adding videos, you can click on “done” (see the image above). You then are taken back to the post, where you can add a title and a description (make it enticing!!). And then you click post and the Watch Party will start. Woop woop! As far as I know there is no way to schedule the party, so you will need to post it in real time.

You can invite your friends once you post and you can also add videos once the party has started.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A FACEBOOK WATCH PARTY?

You will be taken to a screen where you can invite people, you can invite a co host, and there is a screen for live commenting (everyone can comment), see below:

You will be able to go back and forth between videos, and you will be able to replay a video.

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE WATCH PARTY ENDS? DO FACEBOOK WATCH PARTIES HAVE REPLAYS?

Once you click “finish watch party” the party finishes. The viewers will get a message “The Watch Party has ended”.

The comments will no longer be visible, but the list of the videos that were shown during the Party will still be visible afterwards, so people can watch the videos on their own if they missed the Watch Party. There is no replay that includes comments (like on Facebook Live videos).

Have you done a Watch Party? By the way, if you are scared to try things like this on Facebook, here’s a golden tip: start a secret Facebook Group with only you in it (and 1 more person, which could be your business page, but FB requires at least 2 members), and test it in there!

Do you need help with getting your brand out there and growing your business, that is what I do! I would love to have a chat to see if my coaching services are a good fit for you.

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