How to watch Netflix and YouTube with others during coronavirus lockdown

Just because the coronavirus guidelines are keeping us all homebound, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favourite show with friends.

Streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime (and now even Disney+) are experiencing a huge surge in growth due to the current situation. And thankfully, there are a few tools available for you to share the viewing experience with others.

So you can have the experience of watching movies or shows with your friends without having them raid your fridge for snacks. Double win.

First up, Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that lets you watch Netflix remotely with others.

Once you’ve set it up, you can start watching any Netflix film or show and click on the Netflix Party button to create a Netflix Party. This will then give you a link to the event you’ve created – and all you have to do is share that with the friends you want to watch with. It also offers a chatroom, to allow your chosen viewers to talk about what they’re watching, while they’re watching it.

The only downside is you’ll have to watch the show on your computer rather than on a TV.

If you and your friends are more into YouTube, then you may want to make use of Watch2Gether – another Chrome extension that basically does the same thing.

It lets you open YouTube (or Twitch, Vimeo and Soundcloud) links inside the extension and plays the video in a dedicated private room that you and others can inhabit together.

Finally, if you want another way to watch video with friends, you can sign up to Kast. This service supports all the major streaming services and is also available on all the different platforms – Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

The way it works is that one person controls the stream via a proxy through to an online portal. Anyone who is in the same ‘party’ as the person streaming it can watch the show. You can make parties either private or public.

Although Kast is free, you’ll need to pay ($4.99pm) to remove the ads, as well as have access to improved video quality and more reactions and emojis.

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