Netflix Party: The Chrome extension to combat self-isolation
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This week, the UK enters a new stage in the coronavirus pandemic, as thousands decide to work from home and stay at home as much as possible, either to avoid spreading the virus or to avoid catching it. The entertainment industry has been moving to react already, with Disney releasing movies early online in the USA and Universal breaking the theatrical window entirely to make The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma available online on Friday – all big steps in response to the closure of many cinemas across the country.
While there’s no shortage of things to watch, that doesn’t solve the problem of feeling lonely while holed up indoors. On Twitter, however , users have unearthed a handy Chrome extension to combat the self-isolation blues: Netflix Party.
The extension allows for watching Netflix remotely with friends, such as for movie nights with long-distance pales or loved ones. The extension synchronises video playback so that everyone can watch the same thing at the same time – and adds group chat for good measure, so your group of fellow viewers can talk, Twitch-style.
To use it, after installing the extension, click on the “NP” icon in the top-right corner of your browser and select “Start Party”. This will then give you a URL to share with others. The only real restriction is that it’s not available as an extension on other browsers, such as Firefox, and you will need to use the desktop version of Chrome.
The extension first launched four years ago, but, with social distancing now a priority for many in the face of safety worries, it’s found a new lease of life and a timely new purpose. To get started, head to www.netflixparty.com – and stay tuned for our own Netflix Party in the coming week