If you wish you could watch a classic Christmas movie with your friends and family but are avoiding large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing rules, you can now accomplish this virtually through the Amazon Prime Video Watch Party feature.
The feature allows up to 100 people with Prime memberships to join a virtual “watch party” and check out a movie or TV show together. In addition to watching in sync, participants can also communicate using the interactive chat feature.
There is a catch: the experience only works when you’re watching via the desktop app, not on a big screen. Thousands of titles work with the feature, including Amazon originals like Fleabag, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Boys, Upload, and Utopia.
To host a Prime Video Watch Party, find a movie or TV show that you want to watch and ensure that it shows the Watch Party icon within its menu. For TV shows, you’ll have to navigate to a specific episode to see this option.
Enter the name you want to use while chatting, create the Watch Party, then invite friends. The link can be shared with up to 100 people but each person must have their own Amazon Prime membership. All they have to do is click on the link to join.
Playing, pausing, and skipping the playback is handled by the host, so if you need to run to the loo, you can send a text message to request a five-minute stretch break. Or stop the movie halfway through for an intermission video chat to discuss what has happened so far.