You can be very happy to share a YouTube video with friends. However, what’s even better is being able to watch it with them.
Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially if you live separately. So, in this article, we have compiled a list of ways to watch YouTube with your friends.
Besides helping you watch YouTube together, these services help you sync playback so that you and your friends are watching the same thing at the same time.
Watch2Gether is a great way to watch YouTube with others because it doesn’t require you to create an account. You just create a room and then can send the URL so that your friends can join.
Use the search function at the top to find a video or paste it into a specific YouTube link. You can also use the chat feature to talk to everyone, which is useful for keeping viewing and chatting in one place.
SyncTube has a simple interface, but it works great for watching YouTube videos in groups. Create a room and you can immediately start watching YouTube videos. Search for a video or paste a URL using the bar at the top. Any new video will automatically be added to the room’s playlist.
You can also control room privacy and set user permissions; that means you can prevent random people from joining and do things like prevent your friends from accidentally skipping videos.
Sync Video lets you control your own room, which you can invite other people to by sharing the link. Just insert a YouTube URL in the field to the right and click To play to start. All videos added after will be placed in a playlist.
One cool feature of Sync Video is that you can enable Pause on buffering, which interrupts the stream for everyone if someone’s internet connection causes their video to lag.
To use twoseven, you and your friends need to create a free account, but it’s worth it.
In addition to being able to sync a YouTube video for everyone in the room, twoseven also has the option 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. It’s wonderful to keep that personal connection even over long distances.
& chill offers something unique compared to other services that allow you to watch YouTube together. It has all the usual features you’d expect – private rooms, the ability to paste YouTube URLs to add to a playlist, text chat – but it has an interesting user interface.
You choose your seat in a virtual cinema and it reposition the video based on that. Don’t worry, you can still set the video to full screen if it looks lame. Also, you can chat with your friends through the microphone.
To get started with myCircle.tv, simply insert a YouTube URL in the homepage field and the site will create a room. The interface is divided into tabs where you can see users, played past videos, and upcoming videos. You’ll have a YouTube watch party up and running in no time.
There is a chat box for written conversations, but the option of audio chats is perhaps more useful for friends. Watching long YouTube movies with your friends and chatting at the same time is almost as good as inviting them to a night out. Practically, you can also see the amount of video preloaded by others to help overcome buffering issues.
Metastream offers a modern and easy to understand design. You don’t even have to leave the site or miss whatever is playing when you want to add a video to the playlist, as you can browse YouTube from within Metastream itself.
Besides the sidebar which features a list of users, a summary of the playlist, and a text chat, the video takes up the entire screen, which is especially useful when you want to watch cinematic YouTube videos with friends.
The only downside to Metastream is that you have to install a browser extension, but it’s quick, easy, and free.
So far, these services have all been created for the purpose of watching YouTube videos in sync with friends.
However, you can also use a video conferencing tool with screen sharing capabilities to get the job done. In this scenario, you and your friends would join a virtual meeting. Then one person would share their screen with the group so that everyone could watch.
Unlike other services which play the video locally for each individual, this solution means that only one person plays the video, ideally the one with the strongest internet connection.
You can find suitable software for this in our roundup of free screen sharing tools.
Troubleshooting common video sync issues
While your YouTube viewing night goes off without a hitch, you may experience some technical issues.
First try refreshing the page. You will miss a few seconds of the video, but most of the time a simple refresh can fix all the issues. Don’t worry, this won’t interrupt the flow for everyone in the room.
If your video is constantly choppy or buffering, lower the quality of the stream. This will reduce the resolution, so the video may appear more pixelated. However, it’s better than the video constantly stopping to load more.
Additionally, if the service supports webcams and microphones, you can try disabling one or both of them. This is because webcams and mics consume bandwidth, which could be best served on the YouTube video itself.
Finally, ad blockers can cause timing issues. Some services won’t work at all if you run one, so turn off any that 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 feed will be out of sync after the ad has served.
How to watch videos with distant friends
As you can see above, there are many services that are designed for you to watch YouTube videos with your friends. Try them all out quickly to see what you like the most. As a bonus, they’re all free to use. So your preference will come down to which user interface and features you prefer.
If you want to stream a movie rather than a YouTube video, many streaming services like Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix offer both official and third-party group viewing features, so you can enjoy synced movies with your friends. .
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