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there is great pleasure in sharing and watching a YouTube video or movie with a friend.
This is not always possible, particularly if they live apart. So, we've put together a list of ways to watch YouTube with your friends.
Such apps, as well as helping you watch YouTube together, help you synchronize playback so you and your friends are doing the same thing at the same time.
Watch2Gether doesn’t require you to register for an account. You simply create a room and can then send the URL out so your friends can join. Use the search at the top to find a video or paste in a specific YouTube link. You can also use the chat function to talk to everyone, which is helpful to keep the viewing and talking in one place.
SyncTube has a simple interface, but it works perfectly. Create a room and you can immediately start watching YouTube videos. Search for a video or paste in a URL using the bar at the top. Any new video will automatically be added into the room’s playlist.
You can also control the room’s privacy and set user permissions; this means you can stop random people joining and do things like stop your friends accidentally skipping videos.
3. Sync Video
Sync Video puts you in control of your own room, which you can invite others to by sharing the link. Simply pop a YouTube URL in the field on the right and click Play to begin. Any videos added after will be placed into a playlist.
A great feature of Sync Video is that you can enable “Pause on buffering”, which pauses the stream for everyone if someone in the room’s internet connection is causing their video to lag.
In order to use twoseven, you and your friends need to create a free account, but it’s well worth doing so.
As well as being able to sync a YouTube video for everyone in the room, twoseven also has the ability for everyone to share their webcam and microphone. This means that you can all watch a video simultaneously and see and hear everyone at the same time. This is wonderful for keeping that personal connection over a distance.
&chill offers something unique compared to other services that let you watch YouTube together. It boasts all of the usual features you would expect—private rooms, the ability to paste YouTube URLs in to add them to a playlist, a text chat—but it has an interesting interface.
You choose your seat in a virtual cinema and it repositions the video based on that. Don’t worry, you can still set the video to full screen if that sounds lame. Also, you can chat to your friends via microphone.
To get started with myCircle.tv, just pop a YouTube URL into the field on the homepage and the site will create a room. The interface is separated into tabs where you can see users, past videos played, and upcoming videos.
There’s a chat box for written conversation, but perhaps more useful for friends is the ability for audio chats. Watching long YouTube movies with your friends and chatting at the same time is almost as good as having them over for a watch party. Handily, you can also see how much of the video others have preloaded to help overcome any buffering issues.
7. Togethr TV
Once you get in a room, Togethr TV has a quick and handy tutorial to guide you through its features. It’s easy to get to grips with though.
The field at the top is where you enter the YouTube video URL, the box on the left displays the users in the room, while the box on the right is for text chat. Audio chat is also enabled by default, though you can disable this if you want.
8. Use a Video Conferencing Tool
So far, these services have all been created with the purpose of watching YouTube videos together in sync with friends.
However, you could also use a video conferencing tool with screen sharing abilities to get the job done. In this scenario, you and your friends would join a virtual meeting. Then one person would share their screen to the group so that everyone can watch.
Unlike the other services that play the video locally for each individual, this solution means that only one person is playing the video—ideally whoever has the strongest internet connection.
You can find suitable software for this in our round-up of free screen sharing tools.
The 6 Best Free Online Screen Sharing Tools and WebsitesWho says sharing your screen with others has to be complicated? Use these free online screen sharing tools with ease!
Troubleshooting Common Video Sync Issues
Although your YouTube viewing party should go off without a hitch, you might suffer some technical issues.
First, try refreshing the page. You’ll miss a couple of seconds of the video, but a lot of the time a simple refresh can clear up any problems. Don’t worry, it won’t interrupt the stream for everyone else in the room.
If your video is constantly stuttering or buffering, first, lower the quality of the stream. This will reduce the resolution, so the video might appear more pixelated. However, that’s better than the video constantly stopping in order to load more.
Also, if the service supports webcams and microphones, you could try disabling one or both of them. This is because webcams and mics use up bandwidth which could be better served on the YouTube video itself.
Finally, ad-blockers can cause problems with synchronization. Some services won’t work at all if you run one, so disable any you have running. Also, many YouTube videos will be supported by mid-roll ads. If you have an ad-blocker and your friend doesn’t, the stream will be out of sync after the ad has played.