After testing Watch Parties for Twitch, Amazon is rolling out a Prime Video Watch Parties feature for all U.S. subscribers. With Watch Parties, up to 100 Prime subscribers can join a group chat and watch a show or movie together.
Wait, 100 people at once? It sounds excessive, but Amazon is taking the Twitch approach with its Prime Video Watch Parties. Small groups of five or six people can use the service just fine, but Watch Parties can also accommodate large internet communities or an entourage of Twitter followers.
Like other services, Prime Video Watch Party syncs video playback for every viewer. But playback controls like “pause” and “skip” are handled by the Host who starts the party. Anyone can use the invite link to bring strangers into the party, but everyone is kicked from the group chat when the Host leaves.
One of the most exciting things about Watch Parties is its anonymity. You choose a new display name every time you enter a Watch Party, and other viewers have no way of looking at your Amazon profile, adding you as a “friend,” or sending you direct messages. Also, since anyone can share a Watch Party invite link, Watch Parties can grow organically with groups of strangers. It’s refreshing to see something like Watch Parties in 2020, especially from a business like Amazon.
All U.S. Prime subscribers can start a Watch Party today. If you don’t see the option on your account, give it some time or ask a friend to host a party for you. Watch Parties are only available on the web, but Amazon may release a mobile app in the future. Also, sorry Apple fans, Watch Parties don’t work in Safari yet.