Many of us are turning to streaming services to fill the time that we're spending stuck at home and away from friends and family, and now Disney Plus appears 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 (opens in new tab) after users mentioned it on Reddit. It would seem that streamers in Canada are getting the functionality first, with a wider rollout coming soon.
GroupWatch works exactly how you might imagine: up to seven Disney Plus subscribers are able to sync their devices and watch the same show or movie together, though for the time being at least it doesn't look as though there's a built-in chat window.
Disney has now put up a support page (opens in new tab) for GroupWatch, so you can read more about some of the features and how they work there. Anyone watching can play, pause, fast forward and rewind what's on screen, for example.
Keep on watching
You can apparently watch several episodes of a show one after the other in GroupWatch – they won't keep playing automatically, but the group will be invited to load up the next episode once the current one has finished.
The streaming sync feature also offers what are called GroupWatch reactions, so you can post emojis alongside the action. Most devices will support GroupWatch, though there are exceptions (including the PlayStation 4).
"GroupWatch is a feature that lets you watch any title on Disney Plus with your personal friends and family virtually through the app," says the FAQ (opens in new tab). "GroupWatch will sync your streams so that you can easily watch together, even when you're apart."
Of course Disney Plus is far from the first streaming service to offer this sort of functionality for people who are physically apart but want to watch something digitally together. There's a similar tool available for Amazon Prime Video subscribers, and there's an unofficial add-on that will work with Netflix.