Disney Plus' GroupWatch feature allows subscribers to watch all shows and movies on the streaming service simultaneously with friends and family from afar, within the US. Up to seven people can sync their screens to watch together across web, mobile, connected TVs and smart TVs, and share emoji reactions in real time as they watch everything from classic Disney movies to (check out all of ).
GroupWatch is Disney Plus' version of and , which gained popularity during coronavirus quarantines. Unlike those offerings, GroupWatch works natively across any device, with no extension or app necessary. However, it currently lacks a chat feature -- instead, viewers can send emoji reactions to the group screen from the Disney Plus app. But you can still text or video chat with your friends as you watch along together. And a chat option may arrive in the future, said Jerrell B. Jimerson, senior vice president of product management for Disney Plus.
"In this time when it's hard to hang out with friends irrespective of what your age is, it's a great way to connect and reconnect with friends and family," Jimerson told CNET.
GroupWatch is now available on the web and all other platforms.
How to set up Disney Plus GroupWatch
Here's how to use Disney Plus GroupWatch to watch all the Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic content you want at the same time as your friends and family, wherever you live. (One note: If the user has a Kids Profile, they won't be able to start or join a GroupWatch from that profile.)
- Open the Disney Plus app or website and tap or click on the title you want to watch.
- To the far right of the Play icon, you'll see an icon with three people figures. Tap or click it.
- A link will pop up, allowing you to invite up to six other people to watch with you. You can send the link through text, email or any other option your device allows. (However, everyone you send the link to must have a which costs $8 a month.)
- Once everyone is added, any participant can tap Start Stream.
- Once the stream has started, any participant can hit pause, fast forward or rewind. Everyone can also react in real time through the Disney Plus app with six different emoji: like, funny, sad, angry, scared and surprised. The emoji and the name of the person who sent them will pop up on the bottom of everyone's screens.
GroupWatch launched in September in Canada and New Zealand. It launched in the UK in October.
If you're looking for some GroupWatch inspiration, check out, and our list of the and on the streaming service.