Disney+ has launched its GroupWatch feature to U.S. subscribers. This new feature allows subscribers to invite up to six friends and family members (who all have their own Disney+ logins) to stream a TV show or movie simultaneously.
Unlike other “watch party” offerings from other streaming services, the GroupWatch feature on Disney+ doesn’t include a text chat feature. GroupWatch does let participants share real-time reactions with six different emojis: “like,” “funny,” “sad,” “angry,” “scared” and “surprised” through the Disney+ app. This design is so chatting with friends or family doesn’t distract viewers from what show they are watching.
“Movies and TV shows are by their nature social, and people want to watch them together,” said Jerrell Jimerson, SVP of product management for Disney Streaming Services. “We were really focused on making it easy to use for friends and family… and making sure the viewing experience wasn’t tarnished.”
Jimerson went on to say, “Storytelling comes alive when you’re able to share and enjoy it with others, and in this moment when many are still apart from their friends and family, GroupWatch offers a way to safely connect virtually by co-viewing your favorite Disney+ stories with your favorite people from the comfort of your living room.”
To use the GroupWatch feature, subscribers can begin by tapping the GroupWatch icon on a series or film on Disney+ via a mobile device or the web, a subscriber can invite others to join. Once those invites are accepted, the viewing session can occur via a connected-TV device or smart TV. Each account is limited to four simultaneous streams.
Earlier this month, Disney+ launched GroupWatch in a test version in Canada on September 10th and in Australia and New Zealand on September 18th. Jimerson said Disney Streaming Services expects to launch GroupWatch to Europe later this fall.