Best Ways to Watch Movies Online with Your Friends
With friends and family dispersed all over the country, getting together for movie night looks different than it used to. You’ll still need candy and popcorn, but now you’ll also need the right online tools to help you watch movies together online—no matter where you are.
Here’s a look at what you need to know to host an online watch party:
How to Watch Movies with Friends Online
These days, you have your pick of options when it comes to ways to watch movies with friends.
Of course, these options will vary depending on a few factors. To set up a virtual watch party for online movies, you first need a secure Wi-Fi connection. Then you must determine:
- How many people you want to watch with
- What streaming services everyone is subscribed to
- What browser everyone uses
- Whether or not you want to video chat, text chat, etc.
Best Ways to Host an Online Watch Party
No matter what your preferences, you can certainly find a way to watch movies with friends online.
Here are the best ways to watch online movies with friends:
Formerly called Netflix Party, Teleparty now gives you the power to watch the best online movies from a variety of different streaming services. Besides Netflix, you can also use Teleparty to stream with friends on Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime.
To get started, open up the movie or show you want to watch. Look for the TP icon in the right-hand corner. From there, you’ll get a custom link you can share with friends to stream together.
While you’re streaming, Teleparty lets you communicate with friends via text chat. Throughout the whole movie or show, you’ll see a chat room on the side of the video window where you and your friends can adopt nicknames and send each other messages.
Teleparty’s interface is simple and easy to use, and it won’t take you long to get started. One downside, however, is that it’s a Google Chrome extension. This means only your friends who use Google Chrome can join the party; if they’re committed to using Safari, for example, they won’t be able to join.
Bonus: Teleparty also supports groups up to 50 people—an enormous number when compared to other options for watching movies online with friends.
Next up, Scener is quite similar to Teleparty, but it offers you more advanced features for connecting with friends while you stream together.
For example, Scener gives you relatively the same line-up as Teleparty: You can stream movies and TV shows with your friends from Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, as well as Shudder, Funimation, and Vimeo.
But while Teleparty only supports the ability to text chat, Scener lets you video chat as you watch movies with friends so you can see their faces right along with the show you’re streaming. There’s even a mobile app option—but bear in mind that this mobile app only syncs with Roku streaming services.
Scener has the same problem with browsers as Teleparty does; because Scener is a Chrome extension, you and all your friends will need to use the Google Chrome browser to support it.
Finally, unlike Teleparty, Scener caps the number of people you can invite to your online watch party at ten.
If you and your friends are all Hulu-lovers and you’re getting ready to plan a movie night, then try Hulu Watch Party.
While Hulu Watch Party is only available in a web browser, you and your friends are free to each use any web browser you want.
Getting started is simple. When you open Hulu, simply look for the Watch Party icon on the movie or show’s details page. Once you click Start the Party, you’ll get a link you can copy and paste to share with your friends to join the group. From there, Hulu will sync the movie and create a chat room for you and your friends to exchange messages throughout the show.
The drawback with Hulu Watch Party is that it’s exclusive. To watch movies with friends online, you and each of your friends must be subscribed to Hulu. Plus, the online watch party is maxed out at eight people.
For a marathon night of anything Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars, Disney+ GroupWatch is likely your best bet for you and your friends and family to watch movies together online.
You can use Disney+ GroupWatch with any browser, the Disney+ app, or even your TV if it’s connected to your Disney+ account. Similar to Hulu Watch Party, Disney+ GroupWatch is hindered by its exclusivity; you and all your friends must each have a subscription to Disney+ to participate. Moreover, everyone needs to be in the same country, making this option a no-go for international online watch parties. On top of that, Disney+ GroupWatch caps the number of viewers at seven.
Disney+ GroupWatch does offer a perk, however, when it comes to mobility. Using SharePlay, you can stream anything Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars on iOS devices during a FaceTime call.
It’s also worth mentioning that Disney+ GroupWatch has the weakest capabilities when it comes to actual connection. There’s no way for you and your friends to send each other messages on the service; instead, you can communicate by sharing emojis in real time to react to what you’re streaming.
Finally, TwoSeven emerges as a great option to watch movies with friends across a variety of different streaming subscription services.
TwoSeven is compatible with Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube, Vimeo, Crunchyroll, and more. You can even use TwoSeven to create an online watch party to share your personal videos with friends and family.
And if you’re truly desperate to watch online movies or TV shows from Hulu or Disney+, you can unlock compatibility to these streaming services with TwoSeven’s paid option at $3 a month. Note that you and your friends must each have a subscription for the streaming service you’d like to watch.
TwoSeven also stands out with its connection capabilities. You and your friends can video chat and text chat—and there’s no limit to how many people can join.
Like everything else in our lives, Friday-night movie night has gone virtual. To watch movies with friends online, all it takes is finding the right service for you.
*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.
About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of experience writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.