Facebook sunsets ‘Hey Facebook’ voice command feature and develops an off switch for Watch Together feature on portal device

Facebook introduced its ‘Watch Together’ feature a while back. The new update allowed users to access and view videos simultaneously together with their friends. Turning on the feature on Portal device while on call and selecting a video via Facebook gave users an opportunity to watch it with their friends. The video played on your portal and simultaneously on your friend’s Portal device at the same time.

This feature was for users to experience movies or videos together while they were separated and in isolation due to the pandemic.

However, this feature came up with a drawback which was called out by Buzz Feed. The portal device is great however it can be a nuisance for parent with kids who want to have them a better internet videos experience. This is because the Portal device when set in the household mode, gives access to everyone, that includes the children of the house too. The feature remains hidden almost all the time, however whenever a call is directed within the household mode the feature gets activated.

Hence, if children understand how the concept work, they can just make a call and start watching videos. While this was called out by Buzz Feed and parents a long time back, Facebook hadn’t taken any steps to overcome this drawback up until now.

It has now been revealed that Facebook is working towards a new update which will allow parents to turn off the Watch Together feature on Portal while set on the household mode.

While Facebook has always been conscious about its user’s privacy and security. It also remains alert about the children accessing its application as claimed by the tech giant. So if that was the case, the feature should have been present since its initial launch or should have been made available soon after they were called out.

However, its better late than never right. While Facebook did take its own sweet time to bring the option to switch the feature off, we are glad it was conscious enough to take the recommendations and work towards them.

Facebook for the longest time has been the application leading the usage charts. The tech giant has always come up with great features and we are sure the future for all the new coming updates will just be as bright.

Apart from this, Facebook has cancelled out its ‘hey Facebook’ voice feature which was its AI activated voice assistant for users to start a chat with. The team has revealed the reason for abandon to be that it is trying to find a new device for the feature because they don’t want to limit it to the Facebook app itself. Once the tech giant remains successful in its mission, they will make their way to several other of its acquired platform like Instagram and WhatsApp.

Robert Galbraith / Reuters

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