Facebook is adding stuff to Messenger again.
On Monday, the company announced a new feature called Watch Together, enabling Messenger users to play Facebook Watch videos together with friends.
To use the feature, you can either start a Messenger video call or create a Messenger Room, then swipe up and choose Watch Together. From there, you’ll be able to select videos from several categories, including TV & Movies, Watched, or Uploaded (yes, you can watch your own uploaded videos together with remote friends).
The motivation behind the feature is clear. At a time when a global pandemic is forcing millions to stay home, a feature like Watch Together is another way to connect with friends and family without actually being in the same room.
Facebook says the new feature should be interesting to creators. Folks such as DJs and personal trainers will now be able to engage their audience with their own video in a group Messenger call. Facebook has partnered with fitness trainer Melissa Alcantara, who has created a series of fitness videos, allowing people to virtually work out together (well, the workout should be real, but the socializing is virtual. These are weird times.).
Since 2018, Facebook has had a feature called Watch Party, allowing people in Facebook Groups to watch videos together and chat. Watch Together is similar, only for Messenger — these things can get confusing since Facebook has a lot of interconnected products that don’t always share the same features.
Facebook’s Messenger team has been on fire lately. The company launched a desktop version of the Messenger app in April and Messenger Rooms in May. Most recently, forwarding limits have been added to Messenger to combat fake news.
Facebook says more video selections should be coming to Watch Together soon. The feature itself should be rolling out to all users in the coming weeks.