If you're self-isolating, social distancing, or quarantining, you're probably missing your friends, big time. Luckily, Netflix Party — a browser extension that's seeing a surge in popularity due right now — can help you watch Netflix shows simultaneously with others, and it's helping countless squads stay connected right now. If you're the one in the group who's typically responsible for making brunch plans or evening get-togethers, you might want to check out these steps for throwing a Netflix Party to help your friends feel closer than ever.
As staying home, likely bored and mostly alone, become more and more common, Netflix Party will likely become a more popular tool, so you can have fun with your friends, even if you're not near them. Netflix Party can make it feel just like a normal night of watching TV or movies with your crew, and it might even be a little less stressful than a normal viewing party — because you won't need to battle traffic, buy snacks for a bunch of people, or clean up your house to get this all set up. Have some fun with the process and follow these steps to host the ultimate streaming sesh with your friends, your coworkers, your family, or your crush.
1. Download Netflix Party
Since Netflix Party is only available on Google Chrome, you have to first install Chrome onto your computer. Then, go to Netflix Party's extension page and click "add extension." Alternatively, you can visit the Netflix Party website and download the tool there. If you've done it correctly, a small "NP" icon should appear in your browser window.
Make sure your friends also download Netflix Party on Google Chrome, because they'll need it to watch with you.
2. Coordinate With Your Friends
Message your pals to find a time that works for everyone, or simply pick a time and send the group a formal invite (you know, like you might do for an in-person watch party).
3. Sign In To Netflix
This step is easy peasy — just log in to the streamer like you normally would.
4. Grab A Snack
Make sure you gather enough goodies and beverages to keep you satisfied as you watch, because you likely won't want to leave the couch once you get started.
5. Pick A Show Or Movie
Here comes one of the more difficult tasks: choosing what you'll watch. With the seemingly endless options on Netflix, it might take a bit of time for everyone choose something you'll all like. If that sounds like too much, you can always schedule a few more Netflix Parties and have alternating hosts choose what the group will watch.
6. Start The Party
Pull up your video of choice, then click the Netflix Party icon at the top of your browser. There, you can decide if you want to be the only one who can control the video during the party. Then click "Start the party."
7. Send The Netflix Party URL To Your Pals
Once you click "Start the party," the system will give you a URL. Send that link to your friends and remind them to click the Netflix Party icon in their Google Chrome browser to access the party.
You can also enable a chat bar here that will allow you to message fellow party members.
Note: You'll have to start a new party if you decide to switch to a different show or movie.
8. Update Your Icon & Nickname
If you do enable the chat feature, you can change your user icon and nickname. Pick a fun icon and a silly name to make things more exciting.
9. Sit Back & Relax
Before you do this, make sure your friends have all accessed the party successfully. If you've done that, congratulations — your virtual watch party has begun.
10. Don't Be Afraid To Take The Party To Unique Places
Unlike a traditional watch party, you won't be confined to sitting in a living room with people surrounding you. Go mobile with your laptop and try watching on the couch, on your bed, in your backyard, or even upside-down — whatever floats your boat.
11. Make A Watch Party Game
To make things even more engaging, try to brainstorm a watch party game with your friends. For example, send an emoji to the group every time a character uses a specific catchphrase or word. The first one to catch each reference wins a point.
12. Host A Themed Party
Just because you're not physically with your friends, it doesn't mean you can't throw a themed party. Maybe you'll ask your friends to put on their favorite PJs and watch the 2004 classic Sleepover with Alexa PenaVega. Or if you're into more of a spooky vibe, don your old Halloween costume and put on a scary flick for the group. Just make sure everyone sends in a pic to make sure they're all participating.
13. Add Video Chat
While Netflix Party does feature a messaging tool, it doesn't offer any video chat capabilities. Try hopping on a group FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype call to make things feel even more personal. Just make sure everyone mutes themselves when they're not talking, otherwise you'll hear a major echo from the simultaneous screens.
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