Last year, a friend and I decided to watch a movie together. We decided we’d do this not by being physically present in the same room but by watching at our homes at the same time so we could make fun of it and cringe as needed since it was a bad movie. Surprisingly, we couldn’t find a service that would let you sync movie playback and we didn’t have much fun. The point is syncing video playback across two systems that aren’t on the same network isn’t easy, except in the case of YouTube videos because ShareTube exists. It’s a little web app that lets you create a ‘viewing’ room and invite friends to it. You can search for and queue videos from YouTube to watch and it ensures that playback is synced for everyone in the room.
Start off by creating a room. Your room name can only have letters and numbers, and nothing else. Once you’ve created the room, enter a name for yourself and the room is ready.
When you share the link to your room with a friend, they too will have to enter a username for themselves. The usernames aren’t tied to any sort of service and serve only to identify the people in the room.
Anyone who joins the room and clicks to play the video will pick up from where the others are watching. You will get alerts for when someone plays a video. The layout of the service isn’t perhaps that great but you can watch the video in fullscreen mode making it easier to ignore the design.
ShareTube assumes you have a reasonable internet connection that can stream YouTube videos without a hitch in order to keep them in sync. If your connection is bad, there’s little the service can do to help.