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What Is Netflix Party? This Hack Lets You Create Virtual Binge-Watching Hangouts With Your Friends

We’re all stuck at home right now, and you know what that means — we’re all streaming our favorite TV shows and movies with wild abandon. So, why not do it together? Netflix Party lets you create virtual binge-watching chat sessions and invite anyone you want. Since self-quarantine and social distancing may have you feeling isolated, this Google Chrome extension is the perfect companion during the coronavirus crisis.

Shockingly, the extension isn’t actually brand new (how come no one ever told us about this?!). It’s been around since last year, but the developers have been working on working out some of the user-reported glitches. This week’s latest update knocked several of those kinks out, putting it back on people’s radars in a big way. With nearly 1 million users already, it’s only a matter of time before Netflix Party officially goes mainstream. Of course, this means you should probably get in on the action now. Not only will doing so help you while away the time during your quarantine, but it will also ensure you aren’t the last person in the know.

Speaking of which, wondering how it works? Well, it’s pretty simple — and fun. Let us walk you through the steps so that you can start binge-watch-chatting with your fellow cinephiles.

1. Install Netflix Party

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Image: Julie Sprankles/Netflix Party. Julie Sprankles/Netflix Party.

This part’s pretty straightforward. Simply go to the extension’s page on the Google Chrome Webstore and click “Add to Chrome.” Once it is finished installing, you’ll notice the letters “NP” on your Google Chrome browser bar.

2. Open a Video in Netflix

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Image: Julie Sprankles/Netflix. Julie Sprankles/Netflix.

Next, go to Netflix’s website. Open your account, and choose any show you’d like to watch. You’ll notice that the “NP” extension logo shifts from gray to red once you start playing the video.

3. Create Your Party

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Image: Julie Sprankles/Netflix. Julie Sprankles/Netflix.

To create your party, click on that now-red “NP” icon. Then click “Start Party” to kick it off! You’ll immediately notice a chat window pop up on the right side of the screen, as well as a URL to share with friends you’d like to invite. Just make sure any friends you invite also have the Netflix Party extension downloaded, too — it won’t work otherwise. They’ll need to have their own Netflix account for it to work as well (so no sharesies).

4. Join a Netflix Party

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Image: Julie Sprankles/Netflix. Julie Sprankles/Netflix.

To accept a party invitation, you must receive the shared link from the party host. Once you click on it, you should be redirected to Netflix’s website and the selected show you’ll be watching. Click on the red “NP” icon, and you’ll be connected automatically to your viewing party chat room. Netflix Party keeps shows in sync so that you and your party pals can watch together without interruptions.

5. Customize Your Netflix Party

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Image: Julie Sprankles/Netflix.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more fun, it’s time to virtually bedazzle your chat room. To start, you can give your chat a fun nickname and choose which of the existing emojis you want to show. Once the chat starts, you can drop screenshots, GIFs and more while you and your pals binge-watch to your hearts’ content.

Before you go, check out some must-see Netflix shows that would make for great viewing parties. 

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