On Tuesday, Disney+ introduced GroupWatch, a new co-viewing feature for connecting with other viewers to watch movies and shows from the Disney+ library together remotely. Functioning similarly to the unofficial Netflix Party app for Netflix, GroupWatch allows up to seven people to watch together in a synced playback experience across the web, mobile, connected TV devices, Smart TVs, etc. while sharing reactions in real-time. "Storytelling comes alive when you're able to share and enjoy it with others, and in this moment when many are still apart from their friends and family, GroupWatch offers a way to safely connect virtually by co-viewing your favorite Disney+ stories with your favorite people from the comfort of your living room," said Jerrell B Jimerson, SVP Product Management for Disney+ in a press release.
Disney+ subscribers can launch the experience through the GroupWatch icon on the Details page of series and movies on Disney+. They will then receive a link to invite up to six other people to watch with them (Disney+ subscription required). Invitations must originate from mobile or web, but subscribers can then watch on a connected TV device or Smart TV.
GroupWatch's synchronized playback allows each participant the ability to pause for a bathroom break, play, rewind, or fast forward for the whole group. While watching, viewers can react in real-time with six different emojis: "like," "funny," "sad," "angry," "scared," and "surprised" through the Disney+ app.
After launching in a test version in Canada on September 10th and Australia and New Zealand on September 18th, the feature is now live in the United States. Disney expects GroupWatch to expand into Europe later this fall.
Remote, synced viewing features have become highly-requested across streaming platforms during the era of COVID-19, with people staying at home more and trying to avoid indoor gatherings. GroupWatch will be a boon to Disney+ subscribers who are looking to simulate the feeling of getting together with friends to watch a favorite film or show but from the safety of their homes.
The GroupWatch feature arrives just in time for Disney+ subscribers to enjoy all the new content coming to Disney+ in October as a group. That includes the new season of The Mandalorian. Alternatively, subscribers can always come together for a Star Wars marathon or X-Men movies marathon.
Disney+ GroupWatch is available now across all Disney+ apps on all platforms and devices. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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