A scene from “The Mandalorian,” an original Star Wars TV series that will stream on Disney+.
Disney+ rolled out a new feature in the U.S. on Tuesday that lets you watch movies and TV shows with your friends no matter where you are. You can launch it and stream the same movie as someone across the country, for example.
It’s a convenient feature to add right now, since most of us are stuck at home and can’t watch movies and TV shows with friends like we normally would. And it might help Disney attract new subscribers, since people will be able to watch together.
Up to seven people can watch at once, and each user has the ability to pause, play, rewind or fast forward for the whole group, keeping everyone in sync. It works on the Disney+ website, on the Android and iPhone apps, smart TVs and connected devices.
Disney is the latest streaming company to launch a co-watching feature as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps millions at home. Disney-owned Hulu introduced Hulu Watch Party in late May, while Amazon added a co-watching feature to Prime Video in June.
Here’s how to use GroupWatch:
It’s easy to use Disney+ GroupWatch, you just need to start the session on a phone or the Disney+ website. Here’s what you do:
- Open Disney+ on your iPhone, Android phone or on Disney’s website.
- Search for a movie or TV shows.
- Tap the GroupWatch icon (an outline of three people) on the Details page of their chosen content.
- Invite up to six people who also subscribe to Disney+.
- They’ll receive an invite to join your party.
- Once everyone has joined, start the movie or TV show you want to watch.
Note: you only need to start the group on a phone or through the website. You can move over to a smart TV or a streaming device afterward. Just open the Disney+ app on your TV and then tap the group icon again.
Once you start watching, anyone can pause the movie or TV show to take a break, or fast forward and rewind. Instead of a chat feature, users can react to the content with six different emoji’s through the Disney+ app. All you do is swipe left across the screen and choose an emoji, then everyone will see it on the device they’re watching on.