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Facebook’s turning its push for well-being through active, not passive, content consumption into a feature with its new test of “Watch Party”. It allows Group admins pick any public video on Facebook and show it to their members at the same time with a dedicated comment reel to create a “shared viewing experience”.

Live videos on Facebook generate six times more discussion, and Watch Party could bring that to recorded videos, but with a more intimate vibe since your comments won’t get lost in an raging river of discourse. Previously, commenting on a public video felt like trying to yell into an infinitely loud public square. Watch Party could make people feel heard, making Facebook a better second-screen.

The idea isn’t far from what former Facebook president Sean Parker tried with his startup Airtime.  Except instead of trying to get you to start a social graph and group chats from scratch, Watch Party piggybacks on Facebook’s existing billion-user Groups feature.

Watch Party will first open to a “handful of Groups”, but it’s looking to expand soon. And it would make perfect sense for Facebook to bring this feature to Group chats next.

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