Disney Plus Is Releasing the GroupWatch Feature
Gather round, everyone! Virtually, that is. Disney Plus is unrolling the GroupWatch feature for US subscribers, so you and up to seven others can watch a movie at the same time. They tested the feature in other countries earlier this year.
How GroupWatch Works
The feature allows Disney Plus users to set up a private viewing party for up to seven users (who are also Disney Plus subscribers). Together, you can all stream the same movie at the same time. And you can use it through your computer, phone, smart TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire devices.
Not only can you watch it together, but you can also react to the movie with emojis. Currently, there are six, depicting basic things like funny, sad, surprised, etc. Viewers can also control playback for all users, so pause, rewind, fast forward, and more can be done by anyone in the group. Jerrell B. Jimerson, senior vice president of product management for Disney Plus, says that now is the time for such a feature with everyone social distancing.
“At this moment when many are still apart from their friends and family, GroupWatch offers a way to safely connect virtually by co-viewing,” he said in a statement.
It’s Not the Most Original Idea
Disney is not the first company to do this. Amazon Prime has had their watch party function for a while now, and there are third party programs to help people stream together while apart. Scener is a browser extension that connects to Nextflix, Disney+, HBO, and more to stream with people. Scener recently had a spike in users since everyone was in quarantine. However, Disney now hopes their users will use the feature within their app and remain safe in their homes.