A new article on Social Media Today
reports that Facebook is adding a co-watching feature to Messenger that's similar to the upgrade Instagram got in March 2020. Users can host watch parties with as many as fifty friends within the Messenger app. According to Facebook:
"Today, we're announcing Watch Together so you can enjoy Facebook Watch videos with your friends and family and see their reactions in real-time over Messenger video calls and Messenger Rooms. So, go ahead and oooh and ahhh over a video by your favorite celebrity, shed a tear over a puppy rescue video, laugh out loud at the latest viral videos, scream during Blair Witch or feel nostalgic while watching your favorite episode of Community. Watch Together will make you feel together even when you're not."
Community in the time of COVID-19 restrictions is the focus of this upgrade, and that's nothing if not apt. Users can connect to watch a movie and hang out - albeit from a distance. However, many might feel this option is better than nothing. Sure, you could already achieve this by using the Facebook version of the app, but this adds another option at a time when the world needs all the options for socializing that it can get - plus, there's a commercial benefit too. From Facebook:
"To celebrate this launch, we partnered with celebrity fitness trainer and author Melissa Alcantara to create a series of fitness videos to enable people to virtually work out with their friends and motivate each other to achieve their fitness goals. According to a study conducted by Messenger in the US, 70% of people who work out with a partner have achieved a fitness goal in the past 6 months; only 45% of people who work out alone have done the same."
Some businesses and marketers will instantly see opportunities for creative promotion via the new upgrade to the Messenger app. If it's something that's grabbed your attention, it rolls out everywhere on iOS and Android this week.