Facebook is reportedly developing a feature for its Messenger chat service that would allow multiple users to view and discuss the same video simultaneously.
A report from TechCrunch explains that the feature was discovered by “mobile investigator” Ananay Arora within Messenger’s codebase. The code reportedly describes the feature allowing users to “tap to watch together now,” and “chat about the same videos at the same time.” The report explains that the features will notify other thread members when a co-viewer begins watching.
It seems as if this feature will work similar to Facebook’s Watch Party in the sense that a user will be able to post a video in Messenger, which will then notify members of the message thread in order to watch together. It’s likely that Facebook will support the feature for videos hosted on Facebook only, which means that services such as Netflix won’t be supported.
A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that the feature is currently an “internal test,” so there’s no certainty that it will actually be released to users. However, it makes sense to bring a Watch Party-esque feature to Messenger, and Facebook has previously mentioned it’s testing the feature will both profiles and pages.
Additionally, the feature could bring in new revenue streams for the social media giant through things like suggested sponsored videos, recent movie trailers, or even squeezing in video ads between a queue of videos lined up for co-viewing.
As Facebook has recently been applying more pressure to Messenger and Instagram to monetize, much like Facebook’s News Feed, due to ad revenue growth slowing in reaction to plateauing user growth and limited News Feed ad space, this “Watch Videos Together” feature really makes a lot of sense.
Update: Some users are already seeing this feature in Canada.