Netflix Party – Watch shows with your friends while in lockdown

A newly-released browser extension lets people watch their favourite shows and movies together while streaming in different locations.

Netflix Party is a free Google Chrome extension that enables multiple users to sync the playback of Netflix movies and series on the desktop version of the streaming service.

Members of a watch party can play, pause, fast-forward, and rewind the video being watched.

This could be especially useful in a time where opportunities for socialising will effectively be eliminated as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

South Africans are instructed to stay at their homes once the 21-day national lockdown announced by President Ramaphosa comes into effect.

From midnight on Thursday 26 March, no person will be allowed to leave their home except in very specific circumstances, such as to buy food or seek emergency services.

Video streaming has seen an increase in global traffic due to the coronavirus outbreak, and Netflix Party can help add a social element to this.

How it works

In order to use Netflix Party, all participants must have their own active Netflix accounts and use the desktop version of the service in the Google Chrome browser.

Each person who wants to join the watch party must visit the website and download the Netflix Party extension by clicking on “Install Netflix Party.”

This will redirect them to the Google Chrome Web extension site, where you can click on Add to Chrome to get the extension.

The host of the party must navigate to the Netflix website and click on a video the group would like to watch. Once playback starts, you can click on the “NP” logo in the address bar to create a party.

Select “Start Party” and you will receive a URL which can be sent to all the friends or family members you would like to add to the watch party.

Once they click on the URL or copy it into their address bar in Google Chrome, it will direct them to the Netflix website. To join the party, they must click the “NP” logo on their browser.

Chat capability

Netflix Party adds a sidebar for live text chats next to the video being watched, where watch party members can send messages, emojis, and GIFs.

Only users who support the developers with a $5 donation on Patreon will be able to use the built-in voice chat feature.

Alternatively, if you need a free always-on voice chat app to talk to party members during your stream, there are a number of options – including Discord and Google Hangouts.

Now read: Netflix, YouTube and Amazon cut streaming quality to ease strain on networks

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Netflix Party – Watch shows with your friends while in lockdown