Showgoers: Chrome Plugin Powers Shared Viewing for Netflix

For those who want a more social TV viewing experience, Showgoers is a new and interesting solution. The Chrome extension enables far-flung friends to watch the same movie or TV show featured on Netflix and play, pause or seek specific segments, simultaneously. Not surprisingly, the idea was born out of a long-distance relationship; the developer created Showgoers to create another experience that the couple could share. Although Showgoers can’t get around geographical blocking, it is simple to set up — and free.

According to BGR, Showgoers works by linking up users’ Netflix accounts; viewers can then send invitations to friends to join the virtual viewing party.

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“When you’re in a Showgoers watching party, clicking play/pause or seeking to a specific spot in the movie will cause the Netflix player of everyone else in the watching party to do the same thing,” explains the Showgoers website. “With Showgoers installed, watching a Netflix movie with friends online is as easy as sharing a URL.”

Showgoers can be found in the Chrome Web Store and, once downloaded, presents an icon of 3D glasses in the upper right hand corner. By clicking on the icon, the user gets a URL that can be shared with friends who also have the plugin.

“Once your friends accept the invitation, simply by clicking on the link, you can continue to use Netflix as you would normally,” says BGR. “Only now, everyone you’ve invited can now watch the same programming alongside you.”

Virtual viewing is something that the developer tried — as others no doubt have — via Skype, but the syncing of programming was frustrating and difficult. Showgoers makes that easy, and BGR suggests that this “pretty clever feature” is “one Netflix might want to bake into the app itself in the coming future.”