If you're feeling a little anxious, and frankly a little bit lonely, from having to stay home more often than you might be used to, Hulu Watch Party can help and here's how to set it up if you're keen to try it out.
First things first, Hulu Watch Party is essentially a way for you to watch shows on Hulu with friends. For all intents and purposes, it's not really visually different from watching Hulu by yourself or with another person in the room.
The UI is mostly the same. The only real difference, aside from the fact that other people are watching your exact stream with you, is the chat room feature. Hence the "party" in Hulu Watch Party.
To be honest this came out around the perfect time. Or close to it. Because while not everyone is staying inside these days compared to just a couple of months ago, some still are and are craving interaction with friends and loved ones. Hulu Watch Party may be just what you need. Here's how to start a Watch Party and enjoy shows with friends.
How To Start a Hulu Watch Party with friends & family
To start a party, you or someone who's in the party has to have a Hulu subscription. Not just any subscription though. You need the no-ads one.
If you've got that covered, then simply go to Hulu and find some content to watch. From there, look for the little icon once you bring up the show panel that looks like three little people. The button should be between the "my stuff" and the "resume episode" buttons.
Just click that and it'll open the party room for the episode of whatever it is you're watching. Assuming it's a show. If it's a movie it's the same thing. Just for a film and not a TV show episode. Also worth noting is that this is an early access feature. So it's not technically fully rolled out yet.
Once it does roll out, certain aspects of it could change. Though Hulu didn't mention as much when it announced Watch Party earlier this year.
Copy and share the special party link
Once you open the party room with your selected content, the first thing that will pop up is a special link created for the party.
You just need to copy and paste this link anywhere you want to share it. Basically anywhere that anyone you want in the party will have access to it. If you want to share it with specific people, you can share the link in a message or email. Or you can just paste it to your social feeds and anyone who clicks it can join.
You can only have up to eight people in a party though, including yourself. So keep that in mind. Each person in the party also needs to have a no ads subscription from Hulu. If they do not, they will simply be taken to the Hulu landing page to sign up.
Wait for everyone to join, then start the party!
After you share the link and everyone has joined up, you control the show.
You're the host (if you're the one who started the party), so when everyone is ready, hit the start party button and the show will begin. There's a chat panel off to the right of the screen, just in case anyone wants to discuss what's happening.
Chat with friends during the show
Hulu wanted this to be a social experience to be shared with a friends and loved ones. As such, the chat is an important factor in this endeavor.
Chatting in a watch party is easy. Just click in the text box and type up your message and hit send. You can even add in emoji if you feel the need. Each person pops up in the chat with an associated letter. This way everyone knows who's in the chat and who's saying what.
That'll be important if you want to avoid confusion on who you're speaking to. You can also hide the chat panel if you click the full screen button. If you want to watch the show uninterrupted.
This might be preferred by anyone who wants their viewing experience to be centered on their display to. When it's not in full screen, the chat panel pushes the show panel off to the left some. Which is probably the only downside of this Hulu feature.
Now that you know how to set everything up, start a party and enjoy some TV with your loved ones. Just because you can't hang out physically doesn't mean you can't enjoy watching TV together.