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October 26, 2015 / carlispina

Watch Netflix With Friends Using Showgoers

If you frequently watch Netflix with your friends who live all across the country or the world, you’ve probably encountered the difficulty of starting a program at exactly the same time. No matter how hard you try, there is usually a several second lag between viewers. Showgoers is a new Chrome extension that aims to make this process more seamless.

Once you have downloaded this free Chrome extension, you will see an icon of a pair of old-fashioned 3D glasses when you watch anything on Netflix in the Chrome browser. Clicking on the icon will cause a small box to pop up. This box lets you generate a URL for a synchronized viewing session. You can then share this URL with as many friends as you want (though the creator of the extension says more than 5 can cause problems if someone’s video buffers at a different speed). As long as the recipients of the URL are also logged into Netflix on Chrome, they can simply click on the link to join your synced viewing session. Once you are watching the video, anyone can pause or play the video using the standard Netflix controllers and it will pass this action on to everyone watching through the URL. You can also share messages with everyone who is watching together using the same pop-up box that appears when you click on the 3D glasses icon. The same box also gives you the option to leave the viewing session at any time or to share feedback with the extension’s creator. The extension works across versions of Netflix as long as all of the users have access to the same videos, making it a great option for watching with almost anyone.

When I tried this extension out, I found that it worked very well. The movie was synced almost perfectly across users and the pausing and playing options worked perfectly. The quality of the viewing experience was also just as high as when I watch alone. My only minor complaint is that the messages shared through the extension pop up for such a brief period that they can be a bit difficult to read. It would be nice if there were a chat option built in that could appear in a corner of the screen throughout the viewing. Despite this minor quibble, however, I found the tool very useful. If you frequently watch Netflix with friends, it is well worth using. You can see the tool in action below.

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