While millions in the world are presently following social distancing protocols, it’s easy to feel disconnected from those you usually share a laugh with. But, thanks to a few helpful browser plug-ins, turning to streaming sites like Netflix can be an easy source for both entertainment and a way to socialize with your pals and family.
One of the best parts of kicking back for a movie or show with your crew isn’t always the film choice, but the hilarious commentary that goes on over popcorn and a bottle of vino. We tried out a few extensions that are easy to install (and that we'd recommend) so you can perfect nights at home in the coming weeks, and rally together friends for a remote viewing party.
By now, you've probably heard about the new Netflix Party extension that can be easily installed on your Chrome browser. It became so popular that it essentially crashed over the weekend (we're not positive that was purely because it was put into overdrive), but, as of today, it's back up and running. Why is it dazzling so many people? You can chat with friends in a sidebar during that wacky episode of Schitts Creek or while crying during Marriage Story. You don't have to shush anyone, either, because this is all via digital messaging. Need to re-up on your wine and don't want to miss the flick? Everyone's screen will pause and resume at the same time, too, like you're truly in this together.
How to: Download Netflix Party here, then go to Netflix's website, choose any show you would like to watch and start playing the video. You'll need to be in your movie or show, to create your party by clicking on the red "NP" icon located next to your address bar. Then click "Start Party" to get it going and share the party URL to invite your people.
Scener is really similar to Netflix Party, with a Chrome extension that synchronizes Netflix playback across all screens, but it additionally allows for video chatting during your movie. The process takes a few minutes longer to set up than Netflix Party does because you need to create a Scener login account, but it's still free for everyone. The best part about the video chat function? When you turn on your webcam and microphone, you can resize the video chat bubbles in the top right corner of the movie, so you can crack up over your friends' spooked facial expressions during a blood-spurting-scene in The Irishman and make their video chat windows bigger or smaller.
How to: Download the Scener extension to your browser, open Netflix, create a quick Scener account on the right side if you haven't already. Then once you've picked your movie, share your unique link with your friends to invite them in to watch with you.