Facebook testing Watch Party features for live TV

Facebook launched the Watch Party feature last year and, since that time, the company said it has seen more than 12 million Watch Parties in Groups alone. (Facebook)

Facebook continues tinkering with its co-viewing Watch Party platform and is now experimenting with some live TV features.

The features will enable people to host Watch Parties around what’s happening on live TV in real time. To start, Facebook plans to test this feature globally in Facebook Groups during live sports events like UEFA Champions League soccer matches.

Within Watch Party, there will be a new option called “on TV,” where users can select the live game. Watch Party will then feature the live game score as users discuss and react in real time alongside other fans. The company is also testing other interactive tools within these Watch Parties like the ability for hosts to add trivia questions about player stats and live polls around which team will win.

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To be clear, Facebook said its new Watch Party features for live TV are about offering co-viewing options for content that is not on Facebook.

The company is initially testing with sports but plans to introduce it for other live events including awards shows and show premieres.

RELATED: Facebook Watch is now available outside the U.S.

Facebook launched the Watch Party feature last year and, since that time, the company said it has seen more than 12 million Watch Parties in Groups alone. The company also said that Watch Parties garner eight times more comments than regular videos in Groups.

The global testing for features with Watch Party comes after Facebook made its Watch platform available outside of the U.S. last year.

Even before the international launch, Facebook said that the audience for Watch had been growing. The company said that every month, more than 50 million people in the U.S. watch videos for at least a minute in Watch—and total time spent watching videos in Watch has increased 14-fold since the start of 2018.

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