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Sling is the first live streaming TV service to let you video chat with friends
- Sling TV has launched a Watch Party feature that lets you video and text chat while you share the same show.
- Up to three friends can tune in at the same time.
- It’s available now using Chrome on your computer.
Wish you could bring your friends over to watch a big football game despite the pandemic? Sling TV thinks you still can — it’s launching a Watch Party beta feature that lets you hold video and text chats with up to three other people while you tune in to the same live or on-demand show. This is a “first” in the live TV space, Sling claimed.
While the host has control over playback, every viewer has control over their cameras and volume levels. You can pick from content across Sling’s TV various packages and extras, and you can start a party up to an hour in advance for live broadcasts.
Read more: The best live streaming TV services
The beta is available now on the web through Chrome. Your friends might not even need to pay if you act quickly, as guests can join parties between now and September 30 simply by signing up for a Sling TV account.
Sling hasn’t said how soon Watch Party might come to other browsers or platforms, although that might depend on access to cameras for video chat. Don’t expect to join parties on your console, at least not for a while.
Services like Disney Plus and Movies Anywhere have already introduced shared watching, but they’ve typically only allowed limited interaction with your friends and focus on pre-recorded movies and TV. This gives your friends more of a real presence and lets them join in on sports and other live broadcasts. It won’t completely make up for empty seats on the couch, but you might feel a stronger sense of togetherness until it’s safe to reunite in person.