Disney+ officially launched its new GroupWatch feature on Tuesday, which allows users to share their viewing experiences with friends — provided they also have a Disney+ account.
The GroupWatch feature joins other streamers like Amazon and Hulu, which have capitalized on the lack of communal watching experiences thanks to the current quarantine conditions. But while those streaming platforms offer a chat feature, GroupWatch will only allow users to communicate via emoji. Given Disney+’s emphasis on family friendly entertainment, eliminating the chat feature ensures that younger viewers won’t be subject to the dangers and explicit content of online commenting. However, the GroupWatch feature works across several platforms including home computers, mobile phones, and streaming devices, so there are ways to still text and/or chat with friends while co-watching the latest episode of The Mandalorian together.
Here’s how GroupWatch works. Via CNBC:
- Open Disney+ on your iPhone, Android phone or on Disney’s website.
- Search for a movie or TV shows.
- Tap the GroupWatch icon (an outline of three people) on the Details page of their chosen content.
- Invite up to six people who also subscribe to Disney+.
- They’ll receive an invite to join your party.
- Once everyone has joined, start the movie or TV show you want to watch.
Note: you only need to start the group on a phone or through the website. You can move over to a smart TV or a streaming device afterward. Just open the Disney+ app on your TV and then tap the group icon again.
Once you’re up and running, anyone can pause, rewind, or fast-forward whatever content you’re watching along. They can also fire off emoji during the viewing experience, which we’re guessing will involve plenty of hearts when Baby Yoda returns at the end of October. How do you not react to that little face?