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Amazon Prime Video lets you virtually co-watch shows with up to 100 friends

Prime Video subscribers in the US can use the new Watch Party feature, which includes a chat sidebar.

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For now, Amazon's Watch Party is available only via desktop browsers.

Angela Lang/CNET

Amazon has brought Watch Party to Prime Video, letting you view shows with friends and family while social distancing. The new feature, announced Monday, will let Prime Video subscribers virtually co-watch TV shows and movies with up to 100 other Prime members.

Using Amazon's Watch Party, Prime Video subscribers can host a viewing party by clicking the new Watch Party icon that appears next to listed TV shows and movies. Hosts can then control the synchronized video for their invited friends and family. Prime members in a watch party can also comment on the movie using the chat sidebar. 

Amazon has started to gradually roll out its new feature to Prime subscribers in the US. Watch Party comes with Prime Video, which costs $9 a month for a standalone subscription or comes as part of a $119 annual Prime membership. For now, the feature is only available on some desktop browsers.

Smart TVs, game consoles, mobile phones and tablets aren't supported.  

Several streaming companies have introduced new ways to watch with friends and family amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hulu tested a similar feature for its subscribers in May. Netflix, HBO Go and HBO Now also have co-watch features through third-party extensions. Netflix Party is a free add-on for Google Chrome that lets you remotely watch Netflix shows with friends and family. The group watch function of HBO Go and Now is an app by virtual movie theater company Scener, available through Chrome.

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