It’s never too late for SharePlay

Twice now I’ve seen the sentiment that SharePlay might not make much sense in the near future, since COVID Is Over™.

Federico Viticci on MacStories:

SharePlay is neat but can feel already dated now that more countries are rolling out vaccinations and returning to a semi-regular social life.

Victoria Song on Gizmodo:

Listen, this would’ve been great at the height of the pandemic, but it’s still useful to watch videos and listen to music with your buds on a FaceTime call.

As though now that pandemic restrictions are lifting, everybody’s going to come over and watch movies with me? I don’t know about you but my friends have kids and lives and aren’t going to schlep across town on a Tuesday night just to watch a movie with me, much less a single episode of a TV show — let alone several friends! (Is this a brutal self-own? Do people really just have hoards of friends swinging by all the time?)

And doesn’t anybody have friends in, like, other cities?

I use Plex regularly to watch things with friends remotely, and it’s a flawed experience. Hulu and others started rolling their own “watch together” solutions that frequently required watching from a browser and other hassles. That SharePlay will be a system-wide API that streaming services can tap into is huge, pandemic or not.

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