Have you used Netflix Party? It’s a neat little way to remotely watch the same Netflix show or movie while doing bits with your friends in a sidebar chat room. But there are some caveats — namely, it’s an unofficial Google Chrome extension that requires folks to use that web browser. Now, Hulu has announced (via Variety) their officially sanctioned Watch Party feature, allowing folks to share the same Hulu stream while chatting, no third-party plugins or browser compatibilities needed.
There are some caveats to the new Hulu Watch Party feature, which the service currently considers to be “in testing.” Everyone using it has to be subscribed to the premium ad-free $11.99/month package; it’s not currently available for those with regular, ad-supported Hulu subscriptions (which includes that Disney+ bundle by default). Only a select number of titles are available for the feature, noted by a “Watch Party” icon embedded into their graphic (though as you can see, Demolition Man is one of them, so why would you need anything else?). And it’s currently only available on hulu.com, rather than via a TV-friendly device like a Roku or video game console.
Once the host starts a watch party, they can send a link to up to eight people to join in. Then, they can all chat with each other in a sidebar on the right while the Hulu choice du jour (Demolition Man, I presume) plays. And if there are ever any connectivity issues, or you simply need to press pause for a snack break, it doesn’t affect anyone else in the party (unlike Netflix Watch Party). Rather, when you come back, simply press the “click to catch up” button, and caught up you shall be. In our current, quarantined times, Hulu may have just offered an elegant, in-house improvement upon popular third-party services like Netflix Watch Party — and they may just provoke other streaming services to do the same.
For more in the world of Hulu, here’s our favorite shows only available on the service.