It’s an option you may have already experienced on Disney+ or Amazon Prime Video. These two subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services offer a native tool for synchronizing the same video between multiple devices. The idea? Being able to watch the same program, but everyone at home. An online “Watch Party”.
Netflix is one of the major SVOD platforms that does not (yet) integrate this kind of functionality. But it is still possible to fill this hole by going through a third party. The extension to launch a “Netflix Party” is called Teleparty – it was also its old name, which has been changed, because the tool now also manages Prime Video, Disney +, HBO and Hulu.
Not everyone will enjoy the experience of a Netflix Party. But there are people who like to comment on a program during its broadcast – this is also noticeable, alas, in the cinema. Joke on a stage, make fun of the cast, say all the admiration we have in front of a perilous stunt or shed some light: the opportunities are endless.
Of course, one could retort that it is enough to invite your loved ones home and watch the same thing while settling on the sofa. But it is not always possible to discuss face-to-face in the same room. The experience of the pandemic was a cruel reminder — remember Skyperos? And then not everyone lives nearby.
Organize a Netflix Party
You will have to meet several prerequisites to organize a Netflix Party.
- All guests must have their own Netflix account (sharing the same account between a few participants might work, but within a certain limit anyway — you can’t be ten on it).
- You also need agree on a common schedule to see the program together, otherwise just watch the show each in their corner.
- You must also use a particular browser, in this case Chrome or Edge — other Chromium-based browsers must also work, such as Opera, Vivaldi and Brave. Unfortunately, Firefox and Safari are not supported, at least for the maneuver we offer. Then you need to use the Teleparty extension.
- Have a Netflix account and connect to it;
- Set a viewing schedule with loved ones;
- Have a compatible browser (Chrome / Edge);
- Use the Teleparty extension in the browser.
To start a Netflix Party with Teleparty
Once the extension is installed in Chrome, and everyone has met the conditions set out above, all you have to do is launch the video of your choice on the SVOD service, then start a group session by clicking on the top right on the Teleparty icon. Then share the URL that will allow others to join the broadcast. The video will then be synchronized.
In summary :
- Install the Teleparty extension;
- Choose the video you want to see as a group;
- Start a session with the extension;
- Share the URL with others so they can tune in to your video.
If you want to chat with your loved ones, you can go through the instant messaging that accompanies Teleparty. But if you prefer to hear each other, you can call each other directly with a voice over IP service, such as Skype, Messenger or any other similar solution.
A practical tool during confinement
Teleparty is a tool that has been around for years – articles already mentioned the previous version as early as the mid-2010s. With the turn of 2020 and the arrival of the coronavirus, the application has established itself as a practical solution to keep social ties despite the waves of confinement that have affected several countries.
In the editorial staff of Numerama, a colleague used it in 2020. Overall, her experience was very satisfactory: Teleparty is free and has common options. In the experience related by our colleague, pausing the video has the effect of pausing it everywhere. It is ultimately logical: the tool is there to synchronize the broadcast.
Of course, the experience may not always be optimal: the success of Teleparty depends on the quality of connection of each member of the conference. Clearly, if someone is a bit slow, they could find themselves slightly out of step with the others. But these are deviations that are generally quite rare.