How to use Netflix Party and stream movies and TV with your friends

As the world has embraced social distancing and more people are staying in and working from home, social engagements have been all but canceled. That doesn’t mean you can’t still watch all the movies and TV you want. But until recently, you just had to do it with the people you live with.

That is until a free service called Netflix Party came to the rescue. This Chrome extension lets you watch Netflix content with friends and chat while you’re doing it. So whether you are binging The Last Dance or Stranger Things together or you want to have an impromptu movie night, Netflix Party makes you feel like not much has changed.

Further reading

How Netflix Party works

Everyone that you plan to watch with (yourself included) should log in to your separate Netflix accounts. When you pick a movie or show to watch, Netflix Party will sync the playback to all accounts so everybody is watching the same movie or episode simultaneously on their individual accounts. On the side of the screen, Netflix Party has a chat function, allowing you all to chat and react to what you’re watching in real time. It’s not currently known how many people can join a single Netflix Party, but it’s certainly more than the 10 people to which the government has limited social gatherings.

Here’s how to host or join a Netflix Party.

To host a Netflix Party:

  • Download the Netflix Party Chrome extension (yes, it is currently only available on Chrome).
  • Open Netflix and play a video.
  • The Netflix Party extension icon by your address bar will change from gray to red. Click on it.
  • A pop-up window will instruct you to “Create a Netflix Party.” Choose to either maintain total control over the playback or leave it open to everyone to rewind or fast forward.
  • Click “Start the party.”
  • Another pop-up window will appear with a link. Click “Copy URL” and share it with your friends via text or email. (If you need this link again, you can access it by clicking the Netflix Party extension icon.)

To join an existing Netflix Party:

  • Download the Netflix Party Chrome extension.
  • Click the link your friend sends you.
  • Click on the Netflix Party icon.

With these simple steps in mind, you’re ready to host or join a virtual watch party via Netflix Party. But if you want more (like the option to see and hear friends through webcams), that’s an option, too. You can install Scener, an extension that works alongside Netflix Party. 

Finally, binge-watching alone is a thing of the past. It’s easy to set up and use Netflix Party to continue your movie night ritual or stream the latest season of your favorite show (or possibly relive fan-favorite moments of Avatar: The Last Airbender).

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