Amazon Prime Video Watch Party Lets You Watch Movies & TV Shows With Up To 100 People In A Virtual Room

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Movie theaters still aren't open, and most people aren't too keen on sitting in close proximity with each other in front of the television. But in the middle of this pandemic, people have been taking advantage of spending time together virtually. Unfortunately, most of the major streaming services haven't done much to help viewers connect with their friends online by allowing them to watch movies and TV shows online together. But now that's changed: Amazon Prime Video has launched its own Watch Party extension which allows up to 100 people to watch something online simultaneously.

Variety reports Amazon Prime Video is rolling out Watch Party to their subscribers. Only available through major browsers on desktop computers and laptops in the United States (with the exception of Apple's Safari browser for now), the Watch Party feature can gather up to 100 people in a virtual room that will provide synchronized playback of movies and TV shows, as well as a chat sidebar on the right side of whatever they're watching.

With Amazon's official watch party feature, users will be able to watch all available titles in the Amazon Prime Video library. However, VOD titles that you can only rent or own through Amazon will not be available for watch party viewing. Only the movies and TV shows available through the Prime subscription can be watched virtually with your friends and family.

Amazon's jump into the watch party scene comes after the streaming service tested out the feature through its game-streaming outlet Twitch. Some of the biggest content providers on the service were given the ability to play certain titles from the Amazon Prime Video library to allow them to provide commentary to their subscribers, and like this new Amazon feature, it required each viewer to have an Amazon Prime account as well.

It's kind of incredible that it's taken this long for one of the major streaming services to bring this feature back. In recent months, during the coronavirus pandemic, viewers have been clamoring for some kind of easy way to watch movies and TV shows with their friends. Hulu only just recently created a watch party feature, but it only allows up to eight people to participate. Meanwhile, there are third party options like Scener for HBO or the unofficial Netflix Party browser plug-in.

A long time ago, when Netflix first started streaming, they provided the ability for Xbox 360 users to stream the same titles in a virtual theater with their avatars sitting in the front row, almost like a makeshift Mystery Science Theater 3000. Unfortunately, that feature went away and hasn't returned. But Amazon Watch Party is a nice substitute for the time being.