On Tuesday, Disney Plus launched GroupWatch, a feature that allows subscribers to watch all programs and movies on the streaming service while with friends and family far away, within the United States. Up to seven people can sync their screens to watch the web together, mobile, connected TVs and smart TVs and share emoji reactions in real time – just in time fornext month.
GroupWatch is the Disney Plus version of the Netflix Party and Amazon Prime Video Watch Party, which became popular during coronavirus quarantines. Unlike these offerings, GroupWatch works built-in across all devices, with no add-ons or app required. But it currently lacks a chat feature – instead, viewers can send emoji reactions to the group screen from the Disney Plus app. But you can still text or video chat with your friends while watching together. And a chat option may come in the future, says Jerrell B. Jimerson, senior vice president of product management for Disney Plus.
Read more: Disney Plus: Everything to know about Disney’s streaming app
“In this time when it’s hard to hang out with friends no matter what your age, it’s a great way to reconnect with friends and family,” Jimerson told CNET.
GroupWatch will first be launched on the web and on the other platforms later today.
How to set up Disney Plus GroupWatch
How to use Disney Plus GroupWatch to watch all the Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic you want while keeping your friends and family, wherever you live. (Note: If the user has a child profile, they can not start or join a GroupWatch from that profile.)
- Open the Disney Plus app or website and tap or click on the title you want to watch.
- At the far right of the Play icon you will see a three-person icon. Press or click on it.
- A link appears so you can invite up to six other people to watch with you. You can send the link via text, email or any other option that your device allows. (But everyone you send the link to must have one ($ 6.99 per month), to follow, and the free trial period is not included).
- When everyone has been added, all participants can press Start Power.
- Once the power has started, all participants can pause, fast forward or rewind. Everyone can also react in real time via the Disney Plus app with six different emoji: like, funny, sad, angry, scared and surprised. Emojis and the name of the person who sent them appear at the bottom of everyone’s screens.
GroupWatch was launched earlier in September in Canada and New Zealand. It is expected to arrive in Europe later this autumn.
If you’re looking for some GroupWatch inspiration, check out every show, movie and original now on Disney Plus and our list of the top 10 TV shows and 30 best movies on the streaming service.