Disney+ apparently really wants people to watch Disney shows together all at the same time, what with their new GroupWatch feature they introduced to the US on September 29.
GroupWatch is apparently Disney’s answer to that little pandemic we’re all having right now. This feature is apparently similar to the unofficial Netflix Party Mode plugin for Google Chrome browsers. I’ve never used this plugin, so you’re all just going to have to take my word for it.
GroupWatch: Something Someone Else Came Up With
GroupWatch will allow up to 7 Disney+ users to watch the same movie or series all at the same time. The feature can link together mobile devices, connected TVs, smart TVs, etc.. Users can pause the video for a bathroom or snack break, rewind or fast-forward for the whole group, and the feature will even allow users to share emoticons with each other as they’re watching. Currently though, only 6 different emoticons are available: like, funny, sad, angry, scared, and surprised. It’s likely that Disney will implement more options later down the line.
GroupWatch does have some drawbacks though. For one thing, it was previously only available in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The USA is the latest addition to the regions GroupWatch services, and they plan to expand into Europe later. If you live outside these regions, well, you can’t use it.
In addition, GroupWatch does not allow users to share movie or series that are specific to a region. For example, if there’s a show that’s only available in Canada and the Canadian user tries to share it with someone in the US, the US user will not be able to see it. This seems like the most painful drawback at the moment, and I hope Disney corrects this at some point in the future.
And of course, you need to be a Disney+ subscriber to use GroupWatch. If you don’t have a Disney+ account and someone tries to share a video with you, you’ll be redirected to a signup screen. A bit scummy, but it makes sense in this case.
Disney+ just launched their new GroupWatch feature in the US on September 29. If you have any interest in using this feature to watch Disney movies and series together with your friends and family, you might want to check this out.