Hulu is planning to turn everything into a big party with the latest feature.
The streaming service is starting to test a Watch Party feature that’ll let subscribers to simultaneously watch a movie or show while hanging out in a group chat room. Here is what you need to know.
The Watch Party is Now On Hulu
Watch parties have increased worldwide over the last months as family and friends who are social distancing search for other ways to stay in touch. The services that allow such watch parties are usually third-party offerings. Unfortunately, there isn’t a built-in way to stream Disney Plus or Netflix with a friend.
So, the Watch Party feature announcement makes Hulu the first of the most important streaming services to join this trend. The feature starts launching today (May 28), but its availability is limited at the moment. Only the web users can access the feature, and they must subscribe to Hulu’s expensive ad-free plan.
The users with access to Watch Party will notice the “Watch Party” icon on the details page of supported movies and shows. They’ll also receive a link they can send to people they want to watch. Those people must also have an ad-free subscription.
Watch Party lets users message each other in a shared group chat, next to the movie/show they’re viewing. They can also control the playback, and a “click to catch up” function will allow them to go where the group is if they want to sync up again.
While Hulu is the first streaming service to introduce such a built-in feature, watch parties have existed for a long time. There are lots of unofficial services that have such a feature for YouTube, Netflix, and more. HBO, on the other hand, started to partner with companies for more official watch party offerings.