The coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of things about people's lives, including the ways everyone can (and can't) hang out with their friends. It's hard to see people in person while also practicing social distancing, but luckily there are plenty of new ways to get together with friends virtually. Disney is helping out with a new GroupWatch feature that allows viewers to stream movies and TV shows with friends across all different screens. Here's how to use Disney+'s GroupWatch feature so you can host a movie night from anywhere:
When you log into your Disney+ account, you'll notice a new GroupWatch icon under the titles of movies and TV shows. Once you hit that button, you'll be prompted to invite other viewers to join your screening. You can invite up to six other accounts to join with a link, and once they accept the invitation, everyone can watch on a connected-TV device or smart TV.
"Storytelling comes alive when you’re able to share and enjoy it with others, and in this moment when many are still apart from their friends and family, GroupWatch offers a way to safely connect virtually by co-viewing your favorite Disney+ stories with your favorite people from the comfort of your living room,” Jerrell B Jimerson, SVP Product Management for Disney+, said about the new feature in a press release.
Right now, GroupWatch doesn't allow users to type text to each other like Netflix Party does, so if you want to have full conversations while you watch, you'll have to text separately or set up a video chat while your movie plays. But, viewers can respond to what they're watching with one of GroupWatch's six preprogrammed emoji: “like,” “funny,” “sad,” “angry,” “scared,” or “surprised.”
Unlike other stream-sharing platforms, GroupWatch is built right into Disney+, making it easier than ever to share screenings with your friends.
Disney+ unveiled GroupWatch in the U.S. on Sept. 29 after launching it in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia earlier in 2020. The feature will be available in Europe later this fall.
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