This is akin to similar features from other services, though Hulu will be adding something a little different to its Watch Party feature. A chat room. Ever since people have been stuck inside thanks to many government-mandated lockdowns, streaming TV shows and movies has filled more time.
Watch Party features have also been used more often. It only makes sense then that Hulu would want to get in on the action and release a similar feature of its own.
The Hulu Watch Party chat room will make watching TV more social
Make no mistake. The chat room is the most interesting part of this test feature. Because it makes it extremely easy for people to be more social while they watch TV together.
This is something that's easily doable if you're watching with someone in person. Or you could just as easily message back and forth through apps like Messenger.
With Watch Party though, the chat room feature puts the social conversation right in your view without ever really having to take your eyes off the screen. Hulu is basically making it more feasible to both talk and watch at the same time.
And while this might not be to everyone's tastes, it's something that many users will no doubt take advantage of thanks to being stuck inside.
You'll need a "No Ads" subscription to use it
If you fancy the idea of using the Watch Party feature with friends and family, you'll need a subscription to one of Hulu's "no ads" options. There's two, which includes the regular no ads streaming, or the no ads + live tv option.
Anyone in the Watch Party will also need one of these subscriptions. Hulu may include this for the ad-supported subscribers at some point in the future, but it hasn't yet mentioned as such.
So for now you'll have to be a paid subscriber to check it out. Watch Party supports up to eight people at once during a simultaneous stream. And everyone can chat together.
This makes Watch Party perfect for that next movie night even though you may be social distancing. Since the feature is still in testing, there's no mention of if or when it will get a full rollout.
Presumably, Hulu will want to keep in a testing phase for a little while before it decides to expand it or move forward with a full release.