Hulu is testing a brand new feature that will let you watch movies and shows with your friends and family from afar. The feature, which became available on Thursday, May 28, is a social experience that lets viewers watch and chat together in a group of up to eight people. To host your own virtual movie night, here's how to use Hulu's Watch Party feature.
Announced on Thursday, May 28, the new feature will make easier to throw a virtual movie night party. It works with a simple click of a button and an invitation link, with little to no setup compared to trying to screen-share something on a video conferencing platform. You'll just need a Hulu subscription, a computer, and a stable internet connection.
To start, you'll need a Hulu account, but the feature is only testing on Hulu's upgrade from its basic streaming plan: Hulu with no ads. The monthly cost of Hulu with no ads is $11.99, while the most basic Hulu subscription with ads is $5.99 per month. If you are already subscribed to Hulu's ad-free plan, you can start using the test feature right away, but it won't show up on your smartphone's app or on your TV. Instead, Hulu is testing the feature solely on hulu.com. Hulu's only restriction is that users are 18 years or older.
Here's how to use Hulu's Watch Party feature
1. Log in to your ad-free Hulu account on hulu.com.
2. Find the "Watch Party" icon on the Details pages of shows and movies and select it when you find what you'd like to watch together.
3. Share the link Hulu provides with the friends and family you want to invite to the Watch Party. (Anyone you invite will also need to have a Hulu no-ads subscription.)
4. Once everyone joins, you'll be able to watch the show together, and chat with each other in a chat window on the right side of your screen.
Once you've started your movie night, you'll be able to control your own playback, so if you need to hit pause or rewind, it won't interrupt anyone else's viewing experience. If you need to get back to where everyone else is at in the movie, you can hit the "click to catch up button" in the chat window.
The Watch Party feature is currently only available for select titles on hulu.com. To browse through compatible TV shows and movies, look for the "Watch Party" icon on the details page.
If you're unable to try out Hulu's Watch Party feature, you might want to try Scener, which allows you to watch Netflix and HBO shows with up to 20 of your friends at once and works with a Google Chrome browser extension. There is also a browser extension that works with Netflix in the same way, called Netflix Party. While Scener has officially partnered with HBO, Netflix Party is not affiliated with Netflix.
Unfortunately, those who don't have Hulu without ads will either have to upgrade their subscription or wait and see if the feature makes its way to the basic plan. Those who have access to the feature can start planning a watch party ASAP, so break out the popcorn.