Thanks to a growing collection of networking apps and services, the world is increasingly becoming more connected on a global scale. A futuristic new technology from Microsoft called Holoportation will even let you send a hologram of yourself to enable you to virtually hang out with friends and family from afar.
But let’s be honest, technology has a long way to go before we’re all transmitting futuristic avatars of ourselves. And buggy messaging apps like Skype and Facetime just don’t feel the same as hanging with your crew on the couch at home. That’s where Netflix Party comes in.
A new third-party Chrome extension from developer Stephan Boyer, Netflix Party lets you sync up video from the big red streamer with out-of-town friends and family and stream together to your hearts’ content. The service even adds a chat bar so you can dish on the new season of House of Cards, hate-watch the awful-yet-oddly-addictive Fuller House, and buzz through any and all of the streamer’s thousands of titles with your online buddies.
This idea isn’t new, of course. Xbox 360 had its own Netflix Party back in the day, but the service was pulled from the platform years ago. And the new Chrome version is much more inclusive, as anyone with a computer and a longing for cyber companionship can get in on the fun.
Using the service is pretty simple, and is shown in a three-step process on Boyer’s website. First, you download the extension here. (Note: You may need to make sure that the extension is enabled in Chrome by clicking on the “NP” icon at the right and going to Manage Extensions.)
Next, just bring up your Netflix window and start any video you care to share. Once you’ve got something rocking, you can click on the newly-highlighted Netflix Party extension, and it offers up a shareable link. Finally, just send that link to anyone you’d like to have join in on the fun, and once they follow the link, you’re up and running.
Netflix Party may not offer a life-changing capability, but for those looking to keep in touch with friends in the age of online sociability, it could be your next big addiction. Of course, if you’re looking to “Netflix and chill,” that technology has yet to be developed.