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Social distancing has made many people miss all of the group activities we’re used to, like watching movies with friends, but there is a way to do it online. Netflix Party, a Chrome extension, lets you watch videos with your friends and chat together at the same time.

Here’s how it works: you and your friends log in to your separate Netflix accounts. Pick a movie or show to watch, and Netflix Party will sync the playback across your accounts, so you’re all watching the same thing at the same time from your individual accounts. Netflix Party includes a text chat function on the side of the screen (much like YouTube does during a live stream), so you and your friends can react and chat in real time.

To host a Netflix Party:

  • Download the extension
  • Open up Netflix, and start playing a video
  • The Netflix Party extension icon next to your address bar should have changed from gray to red. Click on it.
  • A window will pop up instructing you to “Create a Netflix Party.” You have the option to either give yourself total control over the playback, or leave it open to everyone. Click “Start the party.”
  • Another window will pop up with a link. Click “Copy URL” and share it with your friends. If you need to, you can find this link again by clicking the Netflix Party extension icon.
  • Netflix Party will automatically give you an icon. By clicking on the icon, you can change it (there are a few alternatives) as well as your nickname.
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Netflix Party

To join an existing Netflix Party:

  • Click on the link
  • Click on the Netflix Party icon

Netflix Party isn’t the only way to host a virtual watch party. If you want to see and hear your friends via your webcams while watching Netflix, you can install Scener. If you’d rather watch a video on YouTube or Hulu, you can use Metastream, which has a text chat feature like Netflix Party, or you can try TwoSeven, which allows you to watch YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, or HBO Now while video chatting with your friends. We’ll walk you through all of the options in an upcoming article.

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