44 thoughts on “Facebook Watch Party vs Live: Two Powerful Tools to Build Engagement”

    1. Tammy says:

      Great article Jena! I’m considering trying this, but want to get better with my Facebook Live first. I am curious though, if at the ‘Watch Party’ does the ‘host’ (or person who created the recording) attend as well to answer any questions and comment? I would think there would be great value in the host attending but was not sure if you just set it up and let it run while all who attend interact?


      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Thanks, Tammy! Yes, from what I understand, the host controls the video playback and can fast-forward, add, or skip videos, and can also comment and reply to the viewers in real time. There’s also an option to add a co-host in case the host needs to step away from the computer at any time.

        1. Tammy says:

          Thanks Jena – I would love to try it and hope to in the near future! Great writing – as always, Jena!

    2. Pam A. says:

      Thanks for this article, Jena! Trying my hand at Facebook Live broadcasts was a leap of faith, but I’d never researched Facebook Watch parties. It may be worth my time to explore that option since I already have a small collection of “live” videos already.

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Pam! A Facebook Watch Party is definitely a good option to try if you have a collection of live videos. And congratulations on taking that leap of faith to do Facebook Live! It’s such a valuable way of reaching your audience.

    3. Karen says:

      Thanks for the article, Jena! I’ve been curious about the “watch party” every time I schedule a video (not doing ‘lives’ yet). Great way to reach our audiences!

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Thanks, Karen! Yes, it definitely has a lot of potential to reach our audience, and I like how it could also build a feeling of community among audience members too.

    4. Jena, I’ve made 100s of thousands already using Facebook Live to boost my brand and presence as a financial strategist. My hunch is that Watch Party is going to be the next big wave. A few questions — can Watch Party replace webinars? How would you weigh the pros and cons? Could I create a paid for group that people could join for a series of Watch Parties to boost their financial iq?
      Also could you let me know the diff between Watch and Watch Parties. Gary Vee says to double down on Watch — the tv show side of FB but I don’t know yet how to even start a Watch show. Any ideas?

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts, David! Here are some answers to your questions:
        – No, Facebook Watch Party doesn’t replace webinars. Creating webinars with Zoom or another tool gives you more freedom and functionality than relying solely on Facebook’s Watch Party function.
        – Yes, you could create a paid-for group that people could join for a series of Watch Parties to boost their financial IQ. It would be similar to the Freelance University Facebook Group we created for people with paid memberships to Freelance University.
        – Facebook Watch is like having your own TV Channel, while a Watch Party is like having clients over to watch your TV shows. If you’d like to begin creating a Facebook Watch show, you could join the Facebook for Creators community: https://www.facebook.com/creators#.
        Hope this helps!

    5. Nisreen Slim says:

      Hello Jena, what I need to know is if a members (not admins) within a group host a watch party, can it be shown outside the group publicly? And if so, are there settings to prevent that?

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Nisreen, a Watch Party can only be hosted by group admins, not members, and it will only be seen within the group. It won’t be seen publicly outside the group. Hope that helps!

    6. Sherry Gagnon says:

      Can I have a private WATCH party within my group? I want to offer gifts to those participating on a specific time interval and not have anyone joining in claiming prizes later. Also I want a degree of privacy for their questions within the particular group and not an unknown number since that could stifle the questions

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Sherry, yes, if you host a Watch Party within your group, it will only be seen within the group. The questions will also maintain the privacy settings of the group and only be seen by group members and admins. I hope that helps.

    7. Matt Struckel says:

      Is there a way to see comments and comment in the original video used in a watch party?
      We watch a previously recorded Live video from another page in our group and would like to see the comments portion of this video.

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Matt,
        To see the comments in the original video, I believe you would need to go to the original video itself. The Watch Party becomes its own post in your group with its own comments that are saved in a Watch Party recap post.

    8. Tim Chatterton says:

      When commenting on a live watch party of a Facebook live broadcast, do the watch party comments get fed into the comments on the original Facebook live broadcast?

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Tim,
        When people comment during the Watch Party of a Facebook Live broadcast, the comments will be saved on the Watch Party recap post that’s saved afterwards on your page, profile, or group, depending on where you held the Watch Party. So, the comments will be part of the Watch Party post. Hope that helps! You can find more information about this in the Facebook Help Center.

    9. Kerri Hirst says:

      Hi Jena I have a question that’s actually very time sensitive. I want everyone that I know whether it be friends or anyone on Facebook that I am extremely invested in wanting a mass meditation to happen tonight at 9:45 p.m. CST I have a group, a business page and my personal profile is public. Which option would be the best to ensure that everyone possible sees my meditation event as it’s happening? A watch party or just go live and on which profile? My public group, my business page or my personal profile time line? The world is going into a massive shift and it is imperative that everyone asks the universe to help make this shift happen. I I have been sharing the vent everywhere and anywhere I can however a lot of people are either not Internet educated or just don’t understand the event can happen in their own home they do not have to go anywhere they just need to participate. I appreciate any advice and help you can give me thank you so much.
      Kerri Copeland-Hirst

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Kerri, For more detailed information on how to set up the Facebook Watch Party on Groups, Pages, and Videos, I’d recommend checking out the Facebook Help Center on the Facebook site. I think a good strategy could be to share the event as a Live video from the place where your audience is largest, whether that’s your group, profile, or business page. And once the Live video has ended, if it’s saved on the profile, my understanding is that you could then hold a separate Watch Party later on so people could watch it together if they missed the live video. Hope that helps! Again, if you need more detailed advice, I’d highly recommend looking at the Facebook Help Center.

    10. Meg says:

      Hi Jena
      I have two questions
      1. Which of these two options will result in better video quality for the viewers? I’m referring to less lag, pixelation buffering etc.

      2. If I do facebook live, I need to switch from ordinary video of myself, to screen view mode so that audience can see my screen, and then back again. Is this possible? Is it easy? Can they still see me in a corner somewhere while I’m screensharing?

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Meg,
        To answer your first question, Facebook LIVE typically will have better video quality and less buffering depending, of course, on your web cam and the quality of your local Internet Connection.

        And regarding your second question, The Facebook LIVE screensharing feature has not been available as of late. In our experience, the screensharing tool was cumbersome and not user-friendly. You might consider a live streaming tool like BeLive.com that allows you to screenshare for FB Lives and YouTube Live.

    11. Erica Adkins says:

      Do you know if Watch Party Insights are attributed to the main video or as a business do we need to reach out to each individual who hosted a Watch Party to find out their statistics? We’re trying to capture analytics as a whole and don’t want to miss viewers.

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Erica,
        The Watch Party insights are attributed to the main video and will track individual attendee and usage data for you.

    12. For the first time, I created a Facebook watch party. I was watching a Facebook live event and I was asked by Facebook if I wanted to start a watch party. I’d never done it before, but I said yes. Here’s my question. The live event that I watched showed about 70 live viewers. I could also see the names of 5 people who were watching my own live watch party, even though neither I nor they commented. (My mistake) Were the 5 who watched my watch party included in the 70 for the live event, or was it only me that knew about the 5? Also, Facebook posted the recorded version on my Facebook page. Will I ever know how many see the recorded version? Thanks

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Richard,
        Congratulations on creating your first Watch Party! The 70 attendees were the ones that watched the FB Live whereas the 5 that tuned into your watch party would ONLY be visible to you (no one else).

    13. Annie says:

      Do the Watch Party views go towards the view counts of the original video?

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Annie,
        The Watch Party views are recorded separately from the original video views. They’re two separate metrics.

    14. Sarah says:

      Hi there! Can only a host or Co-host of Watch Party see comments? And also Is Facebook LIVE more public and Watch parties private where only members of that group are watching? And can comments be done on both?

      1. Jena Kroeker says:

        Hi Sarah, below are the answers to your questions:
        1) The host, co-host, and all viewers of the Watch Party can see comments.
        2) Yes, Facebook Live is more public, while Watch Party is governed by the privacy settings of groups – only group members will see the Watch Party. You can also host Watch Parties on your Facebook Page that are visible to the Likers of your page.
        3) Yes, comments can be done on both Facebook Live and Watch Parties.

        Hope that helps, Sarah!

    15. Ellia Bisker says:

      Hi Jena, I host a weekly Facebook Live event from a FB page, and some viewers are hosting their own Watch Parties to view it. I’m trying to find out if our viewer count analytics include Watch Party viewers and I’m a bit confused by previous questions/replies about this above — I see in your reply to the April 5 question you wrote “The Watch Party insights are attributed to the main video and will track individual attendee and usage data for you.” However in your reply to the April 26 question you wrote “The Watch Party views are recorded separately from the original video views. They’re two separate metrics.” Can you please clarify? If it’s helpful to know, we are using the third-party platform Restream.io to broadcast to FB Live. Thanks for your help figuring this out!

      1. Craig Cannings says:

        Hi Ellia, yes there are two separate metrics. Just to clarify, the watch party tracks two main metrics: Minutes viewed and unique 60s viewers, which is the number of viewers that actually watched for a minimum of 60 seconds. The total views of the actual video are tracked separately and not included in your Watch Party insights. I know this can be a point of confusion, so hopefully this helps!

    16. Denise says:

      Trying to understand, Craig. I see you say that the total views of the actual video are not included in the Watch Party insights. BUT are the Watch Party views included in the analytics of the actual video? This is where I get confused.

    17. Craig Cannings says:

      Hey Denise, yes it is kind of confusing indeed. The Watch Party views ARE included as actual video views and are included in the analytics. I hope that helps!

    18. Alan says:

      I will be attending a Live Watch Party this afternoon. A friend wants to attend but has a time conflict. How can he see it at a later time?

      1. Craig Cannings says:

        Hey Alan,

        Check out this post as Facebook introduced Watch Party Replays last year. Have a look: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-adds-new-video-publishing-tools-including-live-rehearsals-and-wat/563030/

    19. Toni Hall says:

      Hi, I am wondering if you can shed some light on this. If I am hosting a Live Event and one of the people that are watching the live event decides to start a watch party, will I be able to see who all joined that watch party? and also see their comments?

      1. Craig Cannings says:

        Yep, you should still be able to see who attended and comments eventhough they started the watch party.

    20. toni says:


      We’ll be hosting a FB live on our official Facebook Page soon. We asked several groups and pages to also share our FB Live. Thing is, we’re not sure what’s the best way for them to share our FB Live video. We actually have 2 options but I just want to clarify if which is better for our Official page’s reach and engagement.

      OPTION A: Ask the group to just share our FB Live link so when people decide to watch, they can be redirected to our page’s FB Live.

      OPTION B: Ask our friends to host a watch party. Not sure if the total viewers of each watch parties actually adds up to our Official Page’s FB live views. I know this has been asked several times. But I just want to figure out which is more beneficial for our FB page. 🙂

      Example: Our official page has a running 200 live viewers. We asked 2 (unofficial) FB pages to host Watch Parties. Each unofficial FB pages has 50 live viewers each. So does it mean we have a total of 300 Live viewers? The total 100 views from the 2 unofficial pages is not yet reflected on our 200 live viewers on our official page?

      Thank you and hope you can help me make a decision too. 🙂

      1. Craig Cannings says:

        Great question Toni! The reality is that running FB Lives is probably the best strategy for increasing reach and engagement for your FB page. I think both Option A and B will work well. If you have people actively sharing your FB Live link, then you will inevitably attract more viewers. That is probably the easiest option. The second option of having other pages to run watch parties will be a good follow-up strategy to expanding the reach of your original FB live. It sounds like you are on the right track!

    21. MELISSA says:

      I have a question, can i make watch party of fb live, and our views will also be added to the total viewers of the fb live?

      I want to do watch party to gather more audience in support of my friend who goes live..

    22. Gee Chin Lin says:

      Hi Craig, you mentioned “The Watch Party views ARE included as actual video views and are included in the analytics.” May I know during a FB Live moment, at the actual video, is the viewer number displayed on the top left corner included the number in the Watch Party? Thank you.

      1. Craig Cannings says:

        Yes, those that watch the FB live via a Watch Party after the fact will be added to the total number of FB Live Video Views. Hope that makes sense!

        1. Gee Chin Lin says:

          Hi Craig, what about during the Live showing moment? will the watch party viewer number added into the main video in real time? I understand it will be added in after the Live is ended. But I would like to know during the Live moment. Thank you.

          1. Craig Cannings says:

            Yes Gee, my understanding is that the watch party viewer number will be added to the main video in real-time.

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