Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party
Facebook could soon give you a way to watch sports and other live TV online — the social media network is now testing an update to Watch Party that allows users to watch live TV with friends. The test, announced late on Wednesday, March 13, is starting with live games inside Groups.
Facebook Watch Party already lets users watch Facebook-hosted videos “with” friends, allowing users to chat and respond to the video even if they aren’t watching in the same physical space. The new live TV option will offer several of the same features, including commenting in real time.
Facebook, however, is planning on expanding the tool even more for live TV. Games, for example, will have the score displayed. The network is also testing additional options, like the option for hosts to ask trivia questions. Users could also see polls, casting their own predictions for the game.
Hosts in Groups that are part of the test will see an option called “on TV,” which will list current on-air options. Facebook says it is testing the tool initially with sports, but hopes to expand the live TV Watch Party to other events like award shows as well as TV series premieres.
Facebook announced the test during the South by Southwest, or SXSW, conference. The network also announced more than 20 new episodes for Red Table Talk, a series that recently made the record for the most-viewed Facebook Original within 24 hours, garnering 7.5 million views on the first day. The show joins Will Smith’s Bucket List, SKAM Austin season two, and MTV’s The Real World as the latest Facebook shows to see updates.
Today’s announcements also include the ability to add a song on profiles, with the new option to click through to listen to the song in its entirety on Spotify. Facebook says other partners will be added as well, adding to a growing list of features focused on music including Lip Sync Live and music stickers.
After several deals with record companies, Facebook also shared that users are able to include licensed music in their videos for free in more than 40 countries. The network recently added India and Thailand to the list of countries with record deals allowing users to share music on the network without infringing on the musicians’ rights.