Hulu was first among the major streaming services to roll out a way for multiple people to watch its shows and movies together at the same time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the social viewing feature, Watch Party is expanding to all on-demand subscribers.
Initially, the feature was only made available to Hulu’s “No Ads” subscribers before being tested with Hulu’s ad-supported subscribers in a more limited capacity.
Watch Party is available on Hulu.com. The watch party icon can be seen on a title’s details page. From there, you can share a Watch Party link with up to seven other Hulu subscribers so that everyone can watch the same content together from different locations.
Hulu says “while watching, group members will be able to react in real-time through the chat function and control their own playback.” If you find yourself having to pause while your friends keep watching, there’s a “click to catch up” button to get right back to the same spot as everybody else.
You can use Watch Party with “thousands” of on-demand titles from Hulu’s library, This includes not only Hulu’s own original content but also other licensed and broadcast programs like “This Is Us,” “Family Guy” and “The Bachelorette”, all of which Hulu said had been popular titles for Watch Party during the testing period.
A number of third-party co-watch apps rose in popularity during the early quarantine phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to Hulu, Amazon Prime Video introduced co-viewing and Twitch launched its own Watch Parties. HBO collaborated with Scener, Plex launched Watch Together and Instagram and Facebook rolled out co-viewing too. However, Netflix users still have to use third-party tools.