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Facebook to discontinue 'Watch Party' feature by April 2021

By Kara Santos Published Mar 17, 2021 12:15 pm

After two years, Facebook has decided to say goodbye to its Watch Party feature.

As reported by Digital Information World, the social media giant will discontinue the service by April 16, 2021. 

Facebook first introduced Watch Party in November 2018 in the United States before it was rolled out to the rest of the world in the same year. The fun feature allowed users to watch a video together on Facebook as if it were live and share their thoughts in the comment section in real time. Eventually, it became a feature to boost views and engagement. 

In 2020, Watch Party was instrumental in bringing people together, particularly in the early days of the lockdown around the world, when many people used it to host virtual parties and hangouts.

However, like most quarantine trends like Dalgona Coffee and Sushi Bake, its hype eventually died down. According Facebook, the feature is no longer giving the same feedback it previously used leading to their decision to discontinue the service.

Download your Watch Party information

While all posts with a Watch Party, comments on posts with a watch party and reactions to those posts or comments will no longer be available after April, Facebook has made it possible for users to still download a copy of their posts via the “Download Your Information tool.” 

Those who download their information by April 15, 2021, will include watch party posts, comments and reactions.

What cannot be downloaded are playlist info, attendee lists, viewer stats, or other people’s comments on your watch parties.

You can’t choose to only download your watch party information. According to Facebook, when you download your Facebook information, you’ll get all information for the categories and date range you choose. This will include your watch party information.

Example: If you download the Posts category, you’ll get all of your posts, including posts with a watch party. 

How to download a copy of your Facebook data

Here’s a step-by-step guide to download your Watch Party Information as detailed in Facebook's Help Center.

  1. Click in the top right of Facebook. 
  2. Select Settings & Privacy, then click Settings. 
  3. In the left column, click Your Facebook Information.
  4. Next to Download Your Information, click View.
  5. To add or remove categories of data from your request, click the boxes on the right side of Facebook. To download your watch party data, add these categories: 
    • Posts
    • Comments
    • Likes and Reactions
  6. Select other options, including: 
    • The format of your download request.
    • The quality of photos, videos and other media.
    • A specific date range of information. If you don't select a date range, you'll request all the information for the categories you've selected.
  7. Click Create File to confirm the download request.

After you've made a download request, it will appear as Pending in the Available Copies section of the Download Your Information tool. It may take several days for Facebook to finish preparing your download request.

Once Facebook has finished preparing your download request, they'll send a notification letting you know it's ready.

To download a copy of data you requested

  1. Go to the Available Copies section of the Download Your Information tool.
  2. Click Download and enter your password.

You can also click Show More to view information about your download request, such as the format and when it will expire. 

(Images via Facebook)