The extension, which is unaffiliated with Netflix, was released in mid-March when local officials had just started implementing coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions that have kept friends and family home for months in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
The Netflix Party website already touts "10,000,000 people" that use the extension; Netflix has more than 180 million total subscribers.
The feature offers a unique way for friends and families to connect through an entertainment platform rather than by phone or video app, allowing people to be social from a distance without having to have a full-blown conversation. Users can watch and chat simultaneously.
Here's how it works:
1. Download Google Chrome
To use the extension, all Netflix Party participants must have Google Chrome, a cross-platform web browser, installed on their computers. Using whatever current web browser is available, users can download Chrome by clicking the download button here.
2. Download Netflix Party browser extension
Once Chrome is installed, all participants must download the Netflix Party browser extension, which is only available for Chrome.
To download the extension, users can click "Install Netflix Party" here. The extension will appear as a red icon once it is added to a user's search bar.
3. Pick a show
This may be the most difficult part of the process: All participants must agree on which Netflix show or movie they want to watch together.
4. Click "Create a Netflix Party" using browser extension
To create a Netflix Party, users must click on the Netflix Party extension, which will then prompt users with the words, "Create a Netflix Party."
From there, users can click, "Start the Party." Users who want to remain in singular control of the party -- meaning only they can pause, rewind or fast-forward -- should check the box that reads, "Only I have control."
5. Share Netflix URL
Once a Netflix Party is started, the user who started the party will be sent a URL that can be shared with other participants. Those participants must copy and paste the shared URL to join the viewing.
To activate a chat between participants while the show or movie is playing, users must click "Show chat" when they receive the Netflix Party URL.
Once all participants copy and paste the URL, users can watch the selected Netflix show or movie together.