With the UK now in its eighth week of coronavirus lockdown, many Brits are yearning for time with their friends and family.

Now, the BBC has launched a new tool that allows you to enjoy TV programmes with your friends, without physically seeing them.

The tool, called BBC Together, lets you watch or listen to content from BBC iPlayer, Sounds, Bitesize, News and Sport in sync with other people using different devices.

Dr Libby Miller, from BBC R&D, said: “We wanted to see if technology could bring people together to watch and listen to BBC shows remotely as a shared experience.”

Here’s how to use the BBC Together tool and watch with your friends and family today.

BBC iPlayer

How to use BBC Together

  1. Find the link of a programme or piece of video you want to watch with others from BBC iPlayer, Sounds, Bitesize, News or Sport
  2. Paste the link into the BBC Together service here
  3. This will create a new group session which you can share via a link with your friends or family
  4. The host will be in control of the viewing session, and can pause, play, seek or choose a new programme for everyone to watch
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The service is very similar to Netflix Party, which allows users to watch TV programmes and films on Netflix at the same time as their friends.

Meanwhile, YouTube and Vimeo have a similar service called Watch2Gether.

The BBC hopes the service will bring friends and families together during lockdown, although it remains unclear whether BBC Together will become a permanent feature.

Dr Miller added: “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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