BBC launches experimental tool to watch programmes together in lockdown

The BBC has launched a new feature which will allow small groups of friends and family to watch programmes together, even while apart during lockdown.

A new experimental feature from BBC Research & Development (BBC R&D) will enable a host to play, pause and rewind a chosen show for everyone watching at the same time.

The new tool, known as BBC Together, has been made available on Taster, the broadcaster's website for experimental tools.

Users will be able to paste a link to a programme from BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds or any Bitesize, News or Sport content they are looking to play into the tool, which will then generate a link for the host to share with others.

BBC Together
BBC Together allows a host to control a group watch of BBC programmes (BBC)

Once everyone has joined the session, the host is able to start and then control the programme for everyone involved with the show remaining in sync for all watching.

Dr Libby Miller, senior R&D producer at BBC R&D, said: "There may be physical distance between us, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy great programmes with our friends, family, colleagues and classmates.

"We wanted to see if technology could bring people together to watch and listen to BBC shows remotely as a shared experience, which we've done with BBC Together.

"It's important to say that it's just a test at this stage – and we'll be monitoring how well it works and thinking about how we could change it in the future, but we're looking forward to seeing and hearing about the creative ways that people use it and getting their feedback on Taster."

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