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How to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more with friends online
The coronavirus outbreak forced many people to work from home. Thankfully, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Disney Plus are around to help you pass the time. However, people still want to stream their favorite movies or TV shows with friends who are not in their homes. Is there any way to watch Netflix with friends for a Netflix party or other streaming services?
Read more: Best video streaming services
As a matter of fact, there are many ways to do just that. A few Chrome and other browser extensions let you watch movies and TV shows on Netflix with friends. They make it easier to share the streaming experience, especially now. Let’s look at some ways you can watch Netflix with friends. We will also talk about some officially approved ways to watch HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video content with friends. These services continue to be popular even as movie theaters are open again.
THE SHORT ANSWER
There are quite a few ways for people to have a Netflix party or any remote streaming experience with friends. Some third-party solutions work with multiple streamers, but some are official and specific to just one streaming service.
Watch streaming services with friends
Editor’s note: We will add more of these services as they are launched.
Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party)
Netflix Party was perhaps the most well-known app or extension to watch Netflix with friends. It’s been around for a few years and got even more popular during the current COVID-19 outbreak. However, the company behind Netflix Party decided later to change its name to Teleparty. The name change was because this browser extension now supports remote viewing on Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO Max. Here’s how it works.
- Download and install the Teleparty extension from the Chrome Store or the Microsoft Edge add-on store for Windows 10 users.
- Launch Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, or HBO Max on your PC and go to the movie or TV show you want to watch with your buddies.
- You should see a TP icon next to the Chrome address bar. Click it.
- Finally, click Start Party, and you can send the URL to your friends.
This browser extension also has a chat bar to keep in touch with your friends while watching a movie or TV show. It also allows people to upload images, emojis, and more. While the extension is free to download, the developers behind it do have a Patreon page (where the app is still called Netflix Party) that you can support so they can continue to add features.
You can even stream and watch Netflix movies and shows in 4K for your own Netflix Party using the Microsoft Edge version.
Scener is a more recent entry in this sub-genre. As with the formerly named Netflix Party, this is a Chrome extension for your PC. However, it supports many streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Shudder, Alamo Drafthouse, YouTube, Funimation, and Vimeo. Here’s how it works.
- Establish a free account on the Scener website.
- Download and install the Scener Chrome extension.
- Click the Private Theater option in the extension and select the service you want to use.
- Finally, go to the show or movie you want to watch and send the included URL to friends.
Scener lets you chat over text, audio, or video while watching Netflix with friends or other supported services. You can even establish groups so that, for example, your Office friends are different than your Parks and Rec friends. You can invite up to ten friends to your private theater.
A second mode allows you to create a public shared streaming theater. In theory, up to a million people can watch the same movie or show you are watching. The procedure to launch that feature is the same as the private theater.
- Establish a free account on the Scener website.
- Download and install the Scener Chrome extension.
- Click the Host a Public Live Theater option in the extension and select the service you want to use.
- Finally, go to the show or movie you want to watch and send the included URL to anyone and everyone.
You can host the event and invite up to nine other people to host it with you. You can even set up a video camera so people watching the movie with you can see you watching it and commenting on it.
If you want to have a Netflix Party with friends while on the go, Rave is for you. A Rave app is available for iOS and Android, and apps are also available for Windows and Mac. It lets you watch Netflix movies and TV shows with others, as well as YouTube, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and Vimeo. It even supports watching videos stored on Google Drive.
You can even create your own music mashup with the RaveDJ feature. If you have your videos uploaded to Google Drive or Dropbox, you can watch them with friends remotely in the Rave app.
Another way to have a Netflix Party with friends is Kast. This app, formerly known as Rabbit, also supports YouTube and other services. You can download its official app for Windows and Mac on its official website. There are also Kast apps for iOS and Android. Besides video sharing, the apps also offer video chat and other features.
It’s free to download and use, but a Kast Premium subscription is available for $6.49 a month or $59.99 a year. It ditches ads and also improves the video quality, among other things.
Here’s another service that offers ways to have a Netflix Party, along with other streaming services. Hearo also supports virtual watch parties for Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Paramount Plus, and more. It can even connect to supported cable TV providers so you can hold watch parties for live sports events and more. Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for a free account on the Hearo site.
- Download the Windows or Mac app if you watch on a PC or the Android or iOS app if you are on a mobile device.
- Select the streaming service or cable provider you want to watch with friends from the app, then select the movie, TV show, or channel.
- Send out a Hearo link via email or another method to any friends that want to join you.
The service supports voice chat as well. The host can also pause the video during the watch party.
Facebook Messenger Watch Together
Facebook Messenger is still one of the most popular messaging apps, and like the formerly named Netflix Party, Facebook Watch lets people view live streams with content creators. The Watch Together feature of the Facebook Messenger app for iOS, Android, Mac, or Windows lets friends watch the same live videos together. Here’s how it works:
- Launch the Facebook Messenger app, create a Messenger Room, and invite people to the room. You can also select the person or group you want to watch videos with.
- Tap and drag up the menu toolbar on the bottom and select the Watch Together option.
- Search for the live video stream you want to watch with friends, or select one from categories like Suggested, TV and Movies, and more.
- Tap the video you want to watch with your friends.
This feature only works with the stand-alone apps. It will not work with the PC browser version of Facebook Messenger.
Twitch Watch Parties (Amazon Prime Video)
The Twitch streaming service, owned by Amazon, has offered support for its new Watch Parties feature. Currently, PC Twitch users who have subscribed to Amazon Prime Video can join Watch Parties run by others. They can run these parties by using thousands of movies and TV shows on Amazon Prime Video.
Again this is just for PC Twitch platforms; this service does not work for mobile, game consoles, or smart TV apps. Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for a Twitch account if you have not already done so.
- Click on your Twitch username/icon on the Twitch.tv website on the top right corner, and then click the Creator Dashboard option.
- In the Creator Dashboard, click on the Home menu in the top left corner and click the Stream Manager option.
- Click the Quick Action selection on the right side of the screen and click the Start Watch Party option.
- It will then show you a menu of featured Amazon Prime Video options. You can type which one you want to use for your Twitch Watch Party. Once you find it, select it.
That’s it. All you have to do is launch your stream and begin your Twitch Watch Party like you could with the formerly named Netflix Party.
Amazon Prime Video Watch Party
Even though Amazon recently launched Twitch Watch Party, the company has now launched another way to watch Prime Video content with others online. Amazon Prime Video Watch Party is slowly rolling out to US Prime members. This feature is only available for Prime Video PC web users in the US.
The big difference between the two systems is that no app or extension is needed for Amazon Prime Video Watch Party. Go to the Prime Video website on your laptop or desktop and go to the movie or TV episode you want to watch and share. Here’s how to launch the Watch Party feature:
- There should be a Watch Party icon on the page if the service is supported. Click it.
- There should be a section on the right side of the page to enter your name. Type it in the box and click Create Watch Party.
- You can then send the randomly generated web link to any family or friends with whom you want to watch the movie or TV show. They must all be Prime Video members and must all be in the US.
- Once those friends have received the link, click on the movie or TV show to begin the Watch Party.
As the host, you can also control the video that everyone else sees. You can pause, rewind, or fast forward through the video while the rest of the party watches. They can also communicate with you via the text chat feature, which supports stickers. You can have as many as a hundred people watching the video with you.
Hulu Watch Party
Like the formerly named Netflix Party, Hulu Watch Party is just a PC-based experience. Like Amazon Prime Video Watch Party, this new feature does not require downloading apps or extensions. Friends can watch it online with you and make chat comments as you all watch together. Here’s how it works:
- Visit Hulu.com via a web browser.
- Find a movie or TV show you want to watch with others with the Watch Party logo (three people in a circle) on the Details page.
- Click the Watch Party icon, then Start Watching.
- The movie or TV show should start playing. You can then select the link icon to copy the link to the Hulu video. You can then send it up to seven of your friends.
Your friends must also have a Hulu account, but it doesn’t matter which subscription they (or you) have. It is available to all subscribers.
Disney Plus GroupWatch
Disney Plus has a way for you and six of your friends to watch content on its service remotely. Unlike Netflix Party, this works on PC, mobile, and even smart TVs. There’s no video chat, but you can text and use emojis with your friends. We have an entire article on how it works at the link below:
Read more: Disney Plus GroupWatch
Movies Anywhere Watch Together
The digital movie store owned by Disney, Movies Anywhere, recently launched a new “watch with friends” feature called Watch Together. Up to ten people can watch the same movie remotely on their smart TV, mobile devices, and PC. The best news is that some folks don’t have to own the movie to watch it.
Movies Anywhere has a Screen Pass feature that lets a Watch Together host send up to three passes to friends who don’t own the movie so that they can watch it for a limited time. Again, there’s no video chat, but you can text and emoji with your pals.
Read more: Movies Anywhere Watch Together
These are a few ways you can watch Netflix and more with friends, with Teleparty remaining the most popular option. We will update this post if more services are launched.