Watching funny YouTube videos is simply better with friends, but if your YouTube-loving comrades live halfway across the country, there’s still a way to enjoy those cat videos together.
Now, the most-obvious method (yet not very simple) is to call or message your friends and give them the link to the YouTube video. Then, somehow get yourselves to hit the play button all at the same time—and hope it works out well.
Luckily, there are plenty of services and apps available that make the process of watching YouTube videos together with friends an easy and streamlined process. Our favorite out of the bunch is ShareTube. It’s free and easy to use, doesn’t require signing up for anything, and you can even create a queue that any of your friends can add to, as well as search for videos right from the ShareTube interface.
To get started, head to ShareTube’s home page. Type in a name for your “room,” and then click the “Make a Room” button.
On the next screen, type a username and hit Enter on your keyboard.
Next, you’ll want to invite your friends to join. There’s a small invite section in the top-right corner where you can Tweet or post to Facebook. If you just want the URL to the room, click the Twitter icon and copy the link in the tweet. It’s a bit annoying, but nothing too cumbersome.
When your friends get the link and join the room, the action can begin. You can search for YouTube videos or paste in the YouTube video’s link if you know it. The first video automatically begins playing. You can continue to search and add YouTube videos to the queue even while the current video is playing.
There’s also a chat function on the right side where you can add in your reactions and chat with your friends as the YouTube video is playing.
If you’d rather have video chat capabilities, there’s a service named Gaze that is similar to ShareTube, but also lets you video chat with your friends while you watch a YouTube video. However, Gaze doesn’t let you search for videos within the interface, nor does it let you create a queue.