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Image credit: Chesnot via Getty Images

Disney+ is getting a watch party mode

Some users in Canada can try GroupWatch, which should be available elsewhere soon.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
September 11, 2020
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PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 26: In this photo illustration, the Disney + logo is displayed on the screen of a TV on December 26, 2019 in Paris, France. The Walt Disney Company launched its Disney + Streaming Service (Svod) in the United States on November 12, 2019. A month after its launch, Disney Plus has registered 24 million subscribers in the United States, which is very much higher than the forecasts and ambitions of the group, which targeted 20 million subscribers worldwide in 2020.  (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Chesnot via Getty Images

Remote watch parties have become increasingly popular this year, with many of us staying at home more often than not amid the pandemic. Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Movies Anywhere and even Twitch have at least tried baking a watch party feature into their platforms, and now Disney+ is getting in on the co-watching action.

Some users in Canada can try out the GroupWatch feature, through which you can invite up to six friends to watch things like The Mandalorian, the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows and movies or Hamilton together. Of course, all of the group members need to be Disney+ subscribers to use GroupWatch. It seems you can access the feature through an icon on a show or movie’s title page.

Screenshots of the feature first popped up on the Disney+ subreddit. Disney confirmed to The Verge it’s running a limited test of GroupWatch. There are plans to roll out the option in other regions this fall — just in time for the cold winter months where you probably won’t be hanging out with your friends outdoors.

There are third-party options through which people can host or join watch parties, but it’s good to see streaming platforms making it easier for folks to do so. The Disney+ offering is far more limited in scope than ones on other services. Prime Video allows you to invite up to 100 of your nearest and dearest friends to join a watch party, while Twitch streamers can theoretically have tens of thousands of people watching something with them in their chat.

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