Navigating Watch Parties

by Matthew Escosia
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By: Godfreyna Canja

 

We’re nearing the seventh month of quarantine, and while restrictions on public and private gatherings may have loosened up a bit, it’s still difficult for us to go out and physically socialize with our friends. Gone are the days when we could watch movie premieres in cinemas with our barkada or even have an all-night TV show marathon at a friend’s place. However, it’s not impossible to sit back and enjoy watching movies or series with friends. Thanks to the power of the internet, we can still watch our favorite shows with our favorite people – by hanging out virtually through watch parties!

A watch party is a way to group-watch series or movies with people who are in different locations. Watch party platforms usually have a main screen where you can watch videos together in real time, and a secondary screen where you and your friends can video chat. That way, you can discuss among yourselves and see your friends’ reactions. Some watch party platforms even have a chat function, so you can quietly chat with each other while binge watching instead of talking.

Read on to know what platforms you can use to host your very own watch party!

 

Scener: Virtual Movie Theater

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Scener is a browser extension you can download for free, and it’s one of the best platforms to host watch parties on as it supports Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Prime Video, Funimation, and Vimeo – the highest number of streaming services available for a watch party app. The platform has video and chat functions so you can interact with your friends while watching, but it only has a limit of up to 10 people who can appear on video.

Simply download the extension, click on the extension on your toolbar, generate the “ticket” or link to the room, and share the link with your friends! You’re also free to switch between shows or videos anytime and transfer the controls to your friends if they want to have their turn with the “remote”.

The platform syncs almost perfectly if you have a stable internet connection, so expect a fun and seamless virtual movie night with friends when you use Scener!

 

Teleparty (FKA Netflix Party)

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Teleparty is another browser extension you can download for free. Previously known as “Netflix Party,” the extension only worked with Netflix (as the name suggests), but upon changing its name to Teleparty, it also added new platforms onto its roster like HBO, Hulu and Disney+. Just download the extension, open the video you want to share and pause it, then click the Teleparty icon on your toolbar to generate and share the link with up to 50 friends!

Teleparty’s limitation is also its strength – the extension only allows for one show to be watched at a time, meaning you can’t browse Netflix or any other platform to “flip channels” while watching. This makes the watching experience more focused (i.e., not for those with short attention spans). It also only has a chat function, which means you can’t see or hear your friends, but it doesn’t make the experience any less fun. Talking with friends, even through chat, always brings out our wild side, and Teleparty allows you to customize with crazy nicknames and icons for fun and personalized interactions. At its heart, Teleparty is for people who want less distractions while enjoying a quality experience with friends.

 

Metastream

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Metastream is last in this list, but definitely not the least. Just like the other extensions, it’s easy to use, though it is still in beta phase. Just download the extension, add a display name and start a session. You can invite friends by sending them a link of the session and you can also opt to make the session public or private.

Metastream lets you watch videos on the usual streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, with the added bonus of Crunchyroll for anime content, Twitch for live streams, and YouTube for a wider selection of videos. Like Teleparty, Metastream also has a live chat function for a quieter watching experience. The best part is that Metastream allows you to queue videos, so you can just line up whatever videos you want to watch, and sit back and relax for the whole day while watching videos with your friends.

Will you be hosting your first watch party soon? Share your experience with us at the comments section below!

 

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