- The new Netflix Party extension is a way to keep in touch with friends and watching Netflix while social distancing.
- It's an extension—only for the Google Chrome browser as of now—that allows you to synchronize Netflix accounts, watch the same thing with friends, and message about it on the side.
- It's a great way to simulate a 'movie night' with friends given our current circumstances.
In this age of social distancing we now find ourselves in, it can be hard to feel connected to anything. While we may need at least six feet of space between us, it’s good to know that there’s technology out there that can put everyone in the same room even if they’re thousands of miles apart. That’s why you’ve probably been hearing so much lately about Netflix Party, a new app that allows friends to synchronize their Netflix accounts with one another, all watch the same thing, and message about it on the side. It’s the closest thing to a ‘movie night with friends’ that you can find right now, and it’s kind of a blast.
One night last week, I tried Netflix Party with my sister. At first, we tried watching a short comedy show that neither of us had seen before—an episode of their original sketch comedy show The Characters. This was OK, but it was sort of weird reacting to things that neither of us had seen before. Maybe this would work better for a different genre.
However, when I found Netflix Party to be most effective was when putting on something that we already knew and loved, in this case being John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch. With this synchronized on both of our screens, we were able to effectively scan to, and comment on, the specific jokes, bits, and parts that we both loved so much. This helps me to come to a conclusion, at least in my case: this is way more effective for a rewatch, something that you already know will bring you a lot of joy. But, hey, I’m not everyone. You can try Netflix Party out yourself by following the simple directions below.
But first, a few questions:
Do you need a Netflix account to use the extension?
Yes. The Netflix Party chrome extension only works when you are logged into your Netflix account.
Can you use Netflix Party on an iPhone or iPad?
As of now, not yet. But with time, apps like this are known to include updates, and most users prefer to be on their phone. Perhaps in the future there's a world where you watch on the computer and message on your phone? That's just speculation, but would be cool for sure.
How to Have a Netflix Viewing Party
Make sure you're using Google Chrome
As of now, there are two rules of Netflix Party—it only works with Netflix (so no Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBOGo, etc.) and it only works as a Google Chrome extension. That means it's not a program that you download by itself, and it won't work with Safari or Firefox or anything like that; you'll need to use it with chrome.
Download the Netflix Party extension
You can get the Netflix Party extension right here from the Chrome store. Obviously, this is essential to actually using the program.
Pick what you want on Netflix
The extension will work with anything in the Netflix catalogue. Might we recommend The Tiger King? If that's not your jam, maybe some reality TV?
Send Your Friend(s) the Provided Link
Once you decide what you want to watch, all you have to do is hit the 'NP' logo button in the top right corner of your browser. From there, you'll be given a link—you can send this to as many friends as you like, whether it's just one buddy or your entire gang from college. According to the extension, toggling off test participation settings will improve your experience.
Get This Party Started
As long as everyone has the extension downloaded, after they click on the 'NP' in their screen link, it should be time to get the party started. That means you can sit back, relax, and add some funny commentary to whatever you decide to watch. Choose at your own discretion!
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