As the pandemic continues to keep people at home more often, extended families and friends are surely eager for virtual ways to connect. Thankfully, more and more streaming platforms are stepping up to help. Disney+ has joined Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Now in rolling out a co-watching feature that enables subscribers to watch the same program at the same time. Here's how to use Disney+ GroupWatch to invite the grandparents, aunts, uncle, and whoever else you can't see right now to your family's next movie night.
On Tuesday, Disney+ rolled out GroupWatch, the streaming platform's latest feature that allows up to seven subscribers to watch any show or movie in the Disney+ library together with synced playback. If one member of your GroupWatch party needs a quick bathroom break, they can pause the program for everyone. Subscribers can also rewind and fast forward in a synced playback experience.
To launch a GroupWatch party on Disney+ subscribers will need to begin in the app on either a mobile device or web browser. However, once your GroupWatch invitations have been sent out, you can move to a connected TV or Smart TV for viewing.
To organize a GroupWatch on Disney+, you'll first want to locate the series or movie you want to watch together in the Disney+ library and tap the GroupWatch icon, which features three shoulder-to-shoulder figures, on the program's Details page. You'll then be given a link to invite up to six other Disney+ subscribers to watch the selected program with you. According to Disney+, invitations must be sent from a mobile or web device. Once your invitations are out, open the Disney+ app on your TV and tap the GroupWatch icon and hit play.
"Storytelling comes alive when you're able to share and enjoy it with others," senior Vice President of Product Management for Disney+ Jerrell B. Jimerson said in a statement released by the company. "In this moment when many are still apart from their friends and family, GroupWatch offers a way to safely connect virtually by co-viewing your favorite Disney+ stories with your favorite people from the comfort of your living room."
But with GroupWatch, Disney+ subscribers don't just get to watch their favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, or National Geographic programs together, they can also share real-time reactions to scenes. Using six different emojis in the Disney+ app, subscribers can share with other viewers in their GroupWatch party whether they "like" a scene, find it "funny" or "sad," or are "surprised," "scared," or "angry" by a plot twist.