Amazon is launching a new feature for watching Prime TV shows and movies with friends remotely called Watch Party.
You can start a Watch Party with up to 100 people, but the feature is only available for Prime members in the US and only works on a desktop web browser.
The launch comes after rivals like Hulu and HBO rolled out similar features.
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Amazon is making it easier to watch TV shows and movies included with Amazon Prime alongside friends even when you’re apart.
The online retail giant launched a new feature this week called Watch Party, which makes it possible to message friends while streaming the same content simultaneously. The addition comes after many people across the US had remained isolated throughout March and April as stay-at-home orders were being implemented because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon’s Watch Party supports up to 100 participants and is only available in the US. There are a couple of caveats, however. The feature is only available on desktop web browsers — with the exception of Safari and Internet Explorer which are not supported — so you’ll have to use a laptop or desktop computer to participate in a Watch Party rather than your television.
All participants need to have an Amazon Prime subscription since the feature is meant for watching Prime-eligible movies and TV shows together. You can only watch content included with Amazon Prime through Watch Party, meaning you can’t access TV shows or movies that you’ve purchased or rented or Prime Video channels that you subscribe to.
Amazon Prime customers can start a Watch Party by finding the TV show or movie they would like to watch and clicking the Watch Party icon. You can then share a link with friends to invite them to the Watch Party. There’s no separate plugin or extension required.
Amazon is launching the feature after several web extensions have offered similar capabilities.
Netflix Party, for example, has been available for a while but gained popularity in recent months as the pandemic required many people to remain at home. The Chrome extension allows you to watch Netflix with others remotely and also includes a built-in chat function. The website Kosmi also makes it possible to watch Netflix and other video services together by sharing your screen, and includes an integrated player for watching YouTube videos simultaneously.
Other major streaming services have also launched similar features designed for hosting virtual movie nights. Scener, a web extension similar to Netflix Party, partnered with HBO to bring the ability to watch movies and TV shows remotely to the entertainment giant’s HBO Go and HBO Now services. Hulu also launched a watch party feature near the end of May. Those options, like Amazon’s, also work on web browsers.
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Source:: Business Insider