Amazon Prime has launched a new tool that allows up to 100 subscribers to watch a TV show or movie together, provided they are signed up in the US.
Watch Party can be set up by any user, who then emails links to family and friends so that they can join in watching the show.
The feature follows on from the BBC‘s decision to launch an experimental platform – dubbed BBC Together – where up to 50 iPlayer users can watch a programme together.
Watch Party is available to subscribers in the US. It isn’t clear when the feature will be available in the UK and in other countries
With Amazon Watch Party, the host will be able to start, stop and pause a show for all viewers at once, allowing them to watch in sync.
As the movie or series plays, users will also have access to a built-in chat feature where they can post text and emojis.
Thousands of shows including Fleabag, Homecoming and Hell’s Kitchen, will be available to watch with the feature.
‘Amazon Prime members based in the US are eligible to access a Watch Party via desktop,’ Amazon said on its website.
‘Anyone can join a Watch Party as long as they have a valid invite link and an active Prime membership to access eligible titles included with their Prime Membership.’
American subscribers will also be able to access Watch Party while they are abroad through the ‘Watch While Abroad’ feature.
It is unclear when UK subscribers, and those based in other countries, will be able to access Watch Party.
Amazon’s feature launch follows the BBC’s decision to try out BBC Together, which allows up to 50 users to watch a show together
In May, the BBC launched BBC Together on its BBC Taster website, to allow its users to watch television shows at the same time, even if they are apart.
Available on BBC Taster, the feature could be used with any programmes on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, or any Bitesize, News or Sport content.
At the time the Senior R&D producer for the feature, Dr Libby Miller, said: ‘There may be physical distance between us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy great programmes with our friends, family, colleagues and classmates.
‘We wanted to see if technology could bring people together to watch and listen to BBC shows remotely as a shared experience, which we’ve done with BBC Together.
‘It’s important to say that it’s just a test – and we’ll be monitoring how well it works and thinking about how we could change it in the future.
‘But we’re looking forward to seeing and hearing about the creative ways that people use it and getting their feedback on Taster.’
How do I use and access Amazon Prime’s feature Watch Party?
Amazon Prime Video launched the feature
To take advantage of this feature, you need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber based in the US.
Follow these simple steps to access videos through the feature and watch them with up to 100 members of family and friends.
1. Find a movie or TV show you all want to watch together and click on the ‘Watch Party’ icon. This is found in the episode list for TV shows.
2. Enter your name, which will appear while chatting, and press ‘Create Watch Party’.
3. Share the link to your Watch Party with up to 100 other people. They can join by clicking the link.
4. Start the show. The host will be able to pause, play and stop the show. Friends can also leave at any time by closing their browser.