(Pocket-lint) - Hulu is starting to test a watch party feature that will allow subscribers to simultaneously watch a show or movie while in a group chat room.

While third-party services offer watch party features for popular streaming services, there hasn't been a built-in way to stream Hulu with a friend. Now, however, it is one of the first of the major streaming services to offer such a feature. Keep in mind this is arriving at a time when many are social distancing but are still eager to connect with friends. Here's what you need to know.

How to use Hulu's watch party feature

To access to the feature, look for the “watch party” icon on the details page of supported titles. You'll then get a link to send to other people who may want to join and watch along with you. Everyone watching must be using Hulu’s website, and they need to be ad-free tier subscribers.

Hulu's watch party feature allows viewers to chat with each other in a shared group chat with a stream of the video they’re watching. Each participant can control their own playback. They can pause or “click to catch up” button to jump back to where the group is currently watching.

Hulu said  “thousands of movies and shows” will support it.

When will Hulu's watch party feature be available?

It's a limited test right now. It's unclear who will get it and when, but Hulu said you must subscribe to Hulu’s ad-free plan to be eligible to try it.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.
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