How to join Teleparty and watch Netflix with friends

Netflix website in laptop screen.

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During the heat of the pandemic, Netflix Party was all the rage. It allowed you to watch movies and shows with your loved ones and friends without being physically together. Through the service, everyone can stream and watch the same Netflix content simultaneously while conversing and sharing reactions via a virtual chat box.

Netflix Party has gotten a facelift and a name change: Teleparty. With its new features and other streaming services integrated within, you can still watch all the cringey reality TV shows you got hooked on with your family during quarantine — even if you’ve since moved away. 

What exactly is Teleparty? 

The once Netflix-only extension has now been expanded to include HBO Max, Hulu, and Disney Plus, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video. The extension, compatible with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Opera browsers, is completely free. The only thing you pay for is your streaming service of choice. 

The premise is simple: One member of the watch party acts as the host by playing a show or movie and using the Teleparty browser extension to retrieve a shareable link. Everyone who clicks on that link will then be transported into a virtual streaming room. There’s even a chat feature so you can feel like you’re still watching in the same room as your Survivor superfan brother. 

More: The 5 best Netflix alternatives: Binge-watch elsewhere 

What devices support Teleparty? 

Currently, the extension works only on laptop and desktop computers. If you have an HDMI converter, however, you can connect your laptop to your TV. As of right now, the extension is not compatible with iOS and Android devices, but Teleparty says that an update will come soon. 

Ready to host your Teleparty? Here’s how to set it up. 

Step 1: Download the Teleparty extension 

You’ll first want to download the Teleparty extension from your internet browser’s add-ons store. Note that Safari does not support the service, so you’ll have to resort to an alternative. For Chrome users, you can install the extension from the Google Chrome store. For Microsoft Edge, visit the Edge Web Store. Opera users, click here. 

Teleparty install screen

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Click “Install.” Your browser will then prompt you to Add on or Get to apply the extension. A browser restart may be required to start using the service.

Step 2: Pin the Teleparty extension

Pinning the extension to your browser makes Teleparty easier to find and quicker to access. On Chrome, click the puzzle piece icon/toggle on the top right corner of your browser. Edge users should look for the star icon. Then pin the extension to the top by clicking the pin or star icon. 

Opera users can open the Teleparty extension, right-click on the tab, and click Pin.  

pin using the chrome broswer

How to pin using the Google Chrome browser

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 3: Grant permission  

Now grant your browser permission to change the data on the websites you visit. This sounds way scarier than it actually is. You can read about Teleparty’s Privacy Policy here, but basically, you’re granting the extension access to your streaming services so that it can create a synchronous video playback and chatting experience across all participants.

allow Teleparty access

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 4: Select your streaming service(s)

Teleparty will now prompt you to choose which streaming service(s) you want it to connect with. You can select as many you’d like or as few as one.

select your streaming serves for TP

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 5: Start streaming

Once you sign in to your desired streaming service, you will be prompted to start the video you want to watch. There’s no limit on how long the content must be. 

TP top right hand corner-- click to start

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 7: Creating a party  

Finally, you are ready to invite people to the streaming party. Pause the video and click on the pinned Teleparty extension. You will see a prompt that says Create a Teleparty, with the option to give yourself host control (meaning no one else in the room can play and pause the video), and a Start the party button.

create a teleparty

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

If you know your friend is a chronic pauser who likes to pause at every scene and overanalyze, make sure the control setting is toggled green. 

only i have control TP toggle

The button will turn green to signal that you are in control of the Teleparty stream. 

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

Step 8: Share and stream 

After you’ve selected Start the Party, a link will populate for you to copy and share. Hit the red Copy URL button so that the link is copied to your clipboard and paste it into your group chat or message app, etc. 

link to share for TP

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

As people join the Teleparty, you will see their names and personal icons pop up on the right-hand side.

From there, watch, chat, and binge together from afar. 

More: Netflix says Stranger Things 4 gave it a boost. But it still lost a million subscribers

Yes. Unless you are watching on the same device as someone who does have Teleparty, then you will need to download the extension separately to join a party.

Up to 1,000 people can join your Teleparty. Just make sure everyone has downloaded the browser extension to dial in to your invite. 

Teleparty is currently available in every country in which Netflix is available. Keep in mind, however, that different countries have access to a different variety of shows and movies. So you may not be able to stream the same TV show as a friend from abroad.

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