Watch parties are more popular than ever, and businesses like Plex, Twitch, and Facebook are racing to cash in on the trend. But Hulu is the first major streaming service to go all in, with 8-person rooms and a proper built-in chat. Anyone with an ad-free Hulu subscription can create or join a Watch Party, so long as they’re over 18.
But don’t text your friends just yet. Watch Parties only work in-browser, and the feature is rolling out slowly. People witch access to Watch Parties will see a small icon next to supported shows and movies. After starting a party, they’ll get an invite link to bring in friends with an ad-free Hulu account.
Unlike other watch-together tools, Hulu allows each user to control the playback of their video feet. Pausing your video won’t do anything to a friend’s video feed, for example. If you fall behind, you can press the “click to catch up” button to sync your feed with the group.
Hulu isn’t the first company to invent watch parties; they’re just the first major streaming service to implement the feature officially. Streaming fans have used unofficial apps and services to host watch parties on Hulu, Netflix, and other websites for years. Hopefully Netflix catches up with Hulu, but we’ll just have to use the unofficial Netflix Party tool in the meantime.
Source: Hulu via TechCrunch