Many of us turn to streaming services to fill up the time we spend at home and away from friends and family. Now Disney Plus seems to be testing a new feature to make it easier to watch content with other people.
A limited test of the new feature called GroupWatch was first reported by The Verge after users mentioned it on Reddit. It appears that streamers in Canada are getting the functionality first, with a wider rollout to follow soon.
GroupWatch works exactly as you can imagine it: up to seven Disney Plus subscribers can sync their devices and watch the same show or movie together, though at least for now it doesn̵
Disney has now set up a support page for GroupWatch where you can learn more about some of the features and how they work. For example, anyone watching can play, pause, fast-forward and rewind what is displayed on the screen.
You can apparently watch multiple episodes of a show in a row in GroupWatch – they won’t continue playing automatically, but the group will be prompted to load the next episode when the current one has finished.
The streaming sync function also offers what is known as GroupWatch reactions, so you can publish emojis in addition to the action. Most devices support GroupWatch, but there are exceptions (including the PlayStation 4).
“GroupWatch is a feature that allows you and your personal friends and family to virtually watch every track on Disney Plus via the app,” says the FAQ. “GroupWatch syncs your streams so you can easily watch together even when you’re apart.”
Of course, Disney Plus is far from being the first streaming service to offer this type of functionality for people who are physically separated but want to watch something digitally together. A similar tool is available for Amazon Prime Video subscribers, and there is an unofficial add-on that works with Netflix.