Facebook adds livestream features to old videos

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If you're watching the video on a mobile device, group members' comments appear overlaid on the video.

Facebook is testing a new video experience called Watch Parties, created to let groups of people watch videos together at the same time.

Watch Party will allow group admins and moderators to select any publicly-available live or recorded video on the platform for the group's viewing pleasure. "We are encouraged (and admittedly surprised) by this early Watch traction as it speaks to Facebook's ability to drive adoption of new products", Nowak wrote. "We are excited about what might be possible when we bring the best elements of Live that people love to more video experiences like Watch Parties". Facebook's new algorithm will prioritize posts that spark meaningful interactions while demoting posts from businesses and publishers.

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A promotional sticker shows Facebook's thumbs-up graphic.

The social network hopes to create the same effect and reception of Facebook Live videos, introduced in 2016, which let users live-stream video directly from their phone or connected camera to their page.

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Watch Parties is rolling out as a test version first with a small selection of Facebook Groups.

"As we think about video on Facebook, we're focused on creating experiences that bring people closer together and inspire human connection instead of passive consumption", says Simo. "We're starting with Groups because one billion people use Facebook Groups every month to connect around their passions and hobbies - from foodies, to dog lovers, to sports enthusiasts, to fans of video creators - and video is a huge part of this interaction".

Announcing the move, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook has always put friends and family at the core of the experience, but that user feedback indicated public posts from companies are "crowding out the personal moments".

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