Watch YouTube videos at the exact same time as your friends remotely. Here's how
The Airtime app lets you video chat with friends while watching videos.
Katie TeagueWriter II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
Texting friends you haven't seen in months gets boring after a while, especially when they're the friends you used to get together with to watch your favorite YouTubers. Fortunately, if you're missing those nights with your besties, you can have 'em back. An app called Airtime lets you video chat with others while watching movies and
videos on the same screen you're using to chat. You can see each other's reactions, and anyone can pause the video to talk about what just happened.
A variety of movies, as well as YouTube and SoundCloud, are integrated into the app, so you can watch music videos and YouTube personalities, and even share photos with the group from the camera on your phone or tablet. You can stream trending songs and videos with your friends, too.
Here's how to start video chatting while watching videos with your friends.
Watch this: 9 ways to watch movies and shows offline
Setting up an Airtime room
After downloading the app for your iPhone or Android device, set up your profile and add all your friends you want to video chat with -- they'll need to have an Airtime account, too. Then you need to create an Airtime room: Tap Create Room on the main screen, then invite your friends to the room and tap Next.
Airtime recommends adding five friends or fewer to each room for a better experience. You can also choose whether you want the room to be Secret, so only your invited friends can see, or Party, where friends of friends can join in.
To change the name of the room, open the settings in the top right corner. You can also customize the room's description and color theme, and delete the room history so that all messages and media will be removed.
Watching with friends
After you've created a room, you'll need to send an alert to your friends about starting a video chat. To do so, open the room you created and select the Hand icon in the top right corner. While you wait for your friends to join, you can select a video or movie to watch by tapping the Popcorn icon at the bottom of the screen. When you find what you want to watch, tap Post to Room.
While you're watching the video with your friends, you can drop GIFs, emojis and sounds into the room -- you'll see icons at the bottom of the screen that say Reactions, Stickers and Sounds. You can also send messages with video chatting by tapping the Messages icon.
Watch this: Contact tracing explained: How apps can slow the coronavirus
What can I watch?
The number of full-length movies is limited compared with the rest of the YouTube universe, and many movies have dropped from the app, but there's still The Lazarus Effect and Wish Upon A Star. There are also some horror films and family-friendly movies.
YouTube videos are up for grabs as well. Just type in what you're looking for in the search bar, like a YouTube influencer's name or a funny video compilation.