Netflix Party is here to help out with social distancing. As most of the world prepares for quarantine, this new Google Chrome extension aims to make it easier to spend time online with friends while enjoying a movie or TV show. Part of the fun of watching movies is sharing that experience with friends and loved ones, which is what Netflix Party is trying to do. It basically takes things back to the days of the AOL chatrooms with its simplicity.

In order to get Netflix Party, you have to first have the Google Chrome browser. This extension will not work in Safari or Firefox. After Google Chrome is downloaded, you can download the Netflix Party extension and then open up the streaming site. From there, the main user will select the movie or TV show and then send out a URL to friends so that they can join in. A chat box appears in the right side of the screen and that's about it. There are custom avatars too, but for the most part, this is very basic.

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Since the Netflix stream is being shared from one account, there is a bit of a lag, but that doesn't really matter all that much when everybody is chatting. The hardest thing about Netflix Party will more than likely come down to agreeing upon which movie should be shown. Luckily, a lot studios are starting to release their movies a little bit earlier, which means they should end up on Netflix sooner too. The extension should be a fun way to help pass the time as everyone is stuck inside their homes.

It appears that the coronavirus quarantine time may be a bit longer than initially thought. While there were talks of a few weeks, it's beginning to look like it could last into the summer, which is news that definitely did not sit well with Vanessa Hudgens. While this will undoubtedly be hard time for just about everybody, there are more home entertainment options now than ever before. Netflix is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to providing hours of viewing entertainment.

Disney and other studios have started to release some of their movies earlier to make this time a little easier on everybody. The Rise of Skywalker was released a few days earlier and Frozen 2 is now streaming on Disney+. Universal Pictures is releasing The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma, movies that are currently supposed to be in theaters, this Friday for 48 hour rentals. As the time goes on, we'll probably see a lot more of the early releases, while apps in the Apple App Store get drastically discounted or offered for free in an effort to promote social distancing. You can head over to the Netflix Party website and download the extension. Just make sure you're using Google Chrome.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick