Twitch Watch Parties get a major expansion as COVID-19 keeps us at home

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping a lot of us inside at the moment, there are a bunch of people who are turning to streaming for entertainment. One website that's probably seen a big uptick in traffic is Twitch, which got its start as a video game streaming website but has since branched out to many different categories. Last month, Amazon rolled out a new feature called Watch Parties to all Twitch partners in the US in direct response to the stay-at-home orders issued by governments across the country, and today, it's getting a pretty major expansion.

Watch Parties aren't exactly new, as they've been in testing since last year, but back toward the beginning of April we saw Amazon make them available to a much larger group of streamers by sending them live for any Twitch partner in the US. Watch Parties allow streamers to watch certain Amazon Prime content with their audience, assuming of course that the streamer is a member of Amazon Prime.

As of today, Amazon is letting any streamer in the US host Watch Parties, meaning that you don't need to be a partner or even an affiliate if you want to use the feature. Moreover, Amazon announced today that Watch Parties now "let you steam any title available" with your Prime Video membership, so it sounds like the content you can stream through Watch Parties just greatly expanded as well.

There are, as always, a few caveats. Viewers who want to join your Watch Parties need to be subscribed to Amazon Prime, and if they aren't, they won't be allowed to join your stream. That might make Watch Parties an automatic no-go for smaller streamers who are still building their following, especially if it means that they'd have to turn some of their regular viewers away.

In that same vein, Watch Parties are only available to viewers who are in the US and watching on desktop web, which again limits who can join. As long as you're okay with those restrictions, you can read about hosting a Watch Party over on the Twitch help site.