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How to use Amazon Watch Party

If you want to watch shows with friends, you can do that with Watch Party.

amazon prime video logo
Image: KnowTechie

Part of the fun of experiencing new shows is experiencing them together, with your nearest and dearest. That’s not the easiest thing to do right now, but Amazon has a way you can still be together, apart. It’s called Prime Video Watch Party.

Think of it as a virtual movie theater, but with a chat sidebar like Amazon’s livestreaming service, Twitch. You can watch tons of content that’s available through an Amazon Prime membership.

You can even watch Prime Video titles that you’ve purchased or rented. Everyone will have to own or rent the content, however.

Imagine group watching the zany adventures of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on her rise to stardom, or the less-than-super superheroes in The Boys. Or even recreating the theater experience at home, with popcorn, drinks, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Now you can still social distance while being social, and make jokes about the storyline, the characters, or whatever you find amusing. Heck, combine it with one of the adult beverage delivery companies and make a night of it!

What is Amazon Prime Watch Party?

screenshot of amazon prime watch party landing page
Image: Amazon

Okay, the first thing we need to mention is that it’s now called Prime Video Watch Party. We get it, it’s confusing enough without the name being continually changed, but the service is still the same.

You choose your show, send out invites to up to one hundred people, and wait for them to join in before hitting play. They all need to be in the same country though, thanks to the intricacies of content licensing. Also, the service is limited to those inside the United States currently.

Oh, and keep in mind that it’s still in beta. You might see some errors or other issues, even on devices that Amazon says it is compatible with.

Which devices can I host a Prime Video Watch Party on?

amazon prime video website
Image: Amazon

When it first came out, the only way to set up and participate in a Watch Party was on a desktop browser (except Internet Explorer or Safari). Now, Amazon has rolled it out to the Prime Video app, so more devices can get in on the fun.

The new list of supported devices is as follows:

They all need the respective version of the Prime Video app installed. Windows PCs and Macs can also use desktop browsers, except for Internet Explorer or Safari.

Prime Video Watch Party is not available for smart TVs (except those running Fire TV), or on games consoles, or other streaming devices.

What can you watch with Prime Video Watch Party?

screenshot of amazon prime video main page
Screenshot: Amazon

The shorter answer to this question is what can’t you watch? No, seriously, because almost everything on Prime Video is fair game. That’s including all the Amazon Originals, tons of movies, and beloved series.

You can even watch anything from your library that you’ve bought or rented. Everyone in your Watch Party will need to own or rent the same content for things to work, however.

There are some things you can’t watch, however. You can’t watch Amazon Channels, which include Paramount+, STARZ, SHOWTIME, HBO Max, and others.

How to have a Watch Party on Amazon Prime

Step 1: Get 100 friends. Or two. It’s totally up to you. Regardless of how intimate or wide-ranging your watching circle is, we’re going to show you how to set it up a Watch Party.

Before you start, make sure everyone has an Amazon Prime subscription, cause this isn’t going to work with freeloaders.

If they don’t already have one, you can get them to sign up for a 30-day free trial, just remind them to cancel before the trial ends if they don’t want to continue using the service.

How to host a Watch Party from a desktop browser

Open your browser of choice. You can use almost any desktop browser, except for Internet Explorer and Safari. Yes, that means you can use Microsoft Edge if you want.

  1. Go to Amazon.com and sign in
  1. Navigate to the Prime Video section
screenshot of amazon prime video main page
Screenshot: Amazon
  1. Find something you want to watch, and click on it
  1. Click on the Watch Party icon (it looks like the party popper emoji)
screenshot of prime video bill and ted face the music with the watch party icon highlighted
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Enter the name you want chat to show, then click Create Watch Party
screenshot of amazon watch party start screen
Image: KnowTechie
  1. To invite friends, use the customized link that appears when you click on Share link. Copy it to your clipboard, then paste it into an email, messaging app, or whatever you use to keep in touch with your friends.
screenshot of prime watch party invite settings
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Once you’re done watching, click on Settings on the right, then on End Watch Party
screenshot of how to end prime watch party on desktop
Image: KnowTechie

Now you know how to set up a Prime Video Watch Party, and how to end it once you’re done with the show.

How to host a Watch Party from the Prime Video app

If you prefer to watch shows and movies from your phone, you can also host an Amazon Watch Party. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Prime Video app
screenshot of an iphone home screen with the prime video app icon highlighted
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Find something you want to watch
  1. Once you’ve found something, tap the More icon, then tap Watch Party on the menu that appears
screenshot of prime video app showing the set up watch party icon
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Type in the name you want to show in chat, then tap on the blue Create button
screenshot of creating a prime video watch party
Image: KnowTechie
  1. You’ll get a prompt at the bottom of the screen to invite participants. You can invite up to 100 people.
screenshot of prime video watch party
Image: KnowTechie
  1. As the creator of the Watch Party, you have control over playback, as well as the quality of the video, and things like subtitles
screenshot of watch party showing the controls
Image: KnowTechie

Now you know how to host a Watch Party. Next, we’ll show you how to join when invited.

How to join a Prime Video Watch Party

When someone sends you a link to join a Watch Party, here’s what to do:

  1. Click on the link to open it in your browser
  1. If you want to keep watching on your browser, enter your Chat name and click on Join Watch Party
screenshot of prime video watch party join screen highlighting the qr code for joining on mobile and the name entry field
Image: KnowTechie
  1. To watch using a mobile device or on your Fire TV, scan the QR code at the bottom-left with your mobile device. We’ll cover the rest of the Fire TV options in the next section.
  1. Tap the Open Prime Video link
screenshot of mobile browser with prime video watch party invite screen shown
Image: KnowTechie
  1. That will open the Prime Video app and join the Watch party
  1. To leave the Watch Party, tap on Details (next to Chat), then on Leave Watch Party
screenshots of prime video watch party showing how to exit
Image: KnowTechie

Now you know how to join, and how to leave, a Watch Party. Watch Party is an interesting, if little-known, feature from the company, so definitely check it out if you want to virtually hang out with friends and family.

How to use Watch Party if you are a Fire TV user

For Fire TV users, you get a slightly different option. That’s because Prime Video wants to show you the video on your TV, while your mobile device shows the chat. You’ll have to do a few more steps than any other method.

Once you’ve got a Watch Party link, here’s what to do:

  1. Click on the link on your mobile device to open it in a mobile browser
  1. Tap on the Open Prime Video prompt
screenshot of mobile browser with prime video watch party invite screen shown
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Tap on Details (next to Chat), to get the Watch Party code
screenshot of prime video mobile app showing the access code for watching on your fire tv
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Switch over to your Fire TV device, and open the Prime Video app
  1. Go to My Stuff > Find a Watch Party
  1. Enter the code from Step 3
  1. Select Find Watch Party then confirm

And there you go, you can now watch and chat while watching shows and movies with your favorite people.

Use Watch Party to virtually hang out with friends and family

There you go, now you know everything you need to know to start your own Amazon Prime Watch Party, or to join someone else’s viewing room.

Amazon rarely mentions Watch Party, so if you aren’t familiar with the feature, that is totally understandable. Hopefully, this guide has shed some light on the feature.

What do you think? Is Watch Party a feature you could see yourself using? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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