If you’ve ever dreamed of watching a YouTube video of a kitty playing with a ball of yarn with your best friend a thousand miles away, the Google+ “Hangouts” feature is the answer.
No, I don’t mean I’m going to send you a link, and then you click on it, and we both watch it at different times. The Google+ Hangouts feature as integrated into YouTube lets you watch videos simultaneously with others, just like if you guys were watching television together.
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It is really quite easy to get set it up. After you find a video you want to share on YouTube, click on the “Share button.” But before you do anything else, there will be a new link that says “Start a Google+ Hangout” above the likes and dislikes bar.
If your YouTube account is set up with the same credentials as your Google and Google+ account, there’s not much else to do. You can select the people you want to invite, and all the controls you initiate will be mirrored for whomever else is watching the video. The same feature is also available from directly within Google+ if you initiate the Hangout first, and then select its YouTube feature.
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Erica Ho is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.