Rabb.it used to provide a way to watch online video with your friends and family without sitting in the same room. You could watch TV and movies while chatting in real time. Read below to see what happened to Rabb.it and which are the best alternatives.
EDIT: In July 2019, Rabb.it was acquired by Kast (kast.gg) which got the rights of the software stack, several patents and intellectual property of the app. The service actually stopped working few month before that (in May 2019). There were no legal issues or anything similar that forced Rabb.it to shut down. What happened was that investors just withdrew from the business.
The original app was essentially a web-based group chat with a video stream. The stream is a virtual instance of Chrome or Opera, allowing you to share a video feed from anything that can play in your web browser, such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube videos.
Rabb.it was just one of many apps and web-based services that allow simultaneous group video and text chat with video streaming. Here are 15 alternatives to Rabbit for watching video and movies in groups.
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Kosmi allows for creating virtual hangouts with your friends.
Without installation or signup you can easily create a room where you can chat, communicate over webcam and microphone and various other activities that include:
- Sharing your screen or browser tab for watching together Netflix/Amazon Prime/Twitch or whatever happens on your screen/browser tab
- Watching synced local video files
- Watching synced YouTube videos
- Start a NES or SNES Emulator which can be played in multiplayer by all room members
- Play a game of Quake 3!
- Start a Texas Holdem Poker table for having a Poker night with your friends
- Start a Virtual Cardtable for playing any cardgame that can be played with a standard deck of cards
The rooms can be joined instantly using a URL or published in its public lobby where strangers can request to join your room. In the lobby there is also a public chat that is integrated with a Discord server ran by Kosmi.
Kosmi is also a software platform with an upcoming SDK where developers will be able to develop their own experiences to run inside the rooms.
The platform leverages web technologies such as WebRTC and WebSockets and aims to push them the limits to provide the ultimate real-time app experience in the browser.
Watch2gether allows you to watch videos and other content in sync with your friends. You can create your own chat room for free without signing up. After creating the chat room, you invite other users to join the chat.
The videos that you can watch are restricted to supported platforms including YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, Vimeo, and Dailymotion. You can even listen to music together via SoundCloud or watch live Twitch streams.
Unlike Rabbit, all users in the chat room can search for videos and start playing them. You do not log into third-party accounts, which also means that you cannot access Netflix or Hulu. However, you still have access to a large library of free videos on the supported platforms.
With Simulchat, users can create private chat rooms and watch movies, share files, and play games. You can even make video calls together. It is an easy-to-use web-based service that also supports text chat.
You can watch videos found on YouTube and Simulchat ensures that the videos remain synced. It is similar to watching TV in the same room. While you cannot access other sites such as Amazon or Netflix, you can share your own videos and watch them with friends or family.
The service is free to use but you need to create an account first. Registration only takes seconds, allowing you to set up your Simulchat room in just minutes.
TogetherTube works with a handful of supported platforms including YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, and SoundCloud. You can watch videos and listen to music from these sites in real time.
With TogetherTube, you can either create public or private chat rooms. All users in the chat room can add videos from the supported platforms to a playlist. Users then vote on the videos. The videos with the most votes get played next.
The site includes a variety of other features to help it stand out, including the ability to configure the settings in your chat room. You can change the name of the room or even restrict other users from voting on videos.
With AndChill, you can instantly create your own private or public chat room and start watching videos simultaneously with anyone around the world. It provides a simple user interface, including the ability to share videos and audio files with one click.
When you first visit the site, you can browse a list of currently open public chat rooms. You can see what people are watching and how many people are in the room before joining. It is a great way to meet new people or share content with your friends and family.
Rave is essentially a web-based media center but it also aims to be a social media platform. You can share the videos and music that you are watching or listening to with your friends and family. The site also allows you to share from mobile devices.
The supported platforms include YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, Viki, Google Drive, and Reddit. You can share streaming content or content from your Dropbox or Google Drive accounts.
Rave works with almost every device and even has mobile apps available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
You do not need to create an account to start watching movies and listening to music through MyCircle.TV. The web-based platform is easy to navigate and lets you set up your own private chat room.
While you can stream content from YouTube and other popular free video sites, you can also create playlists or upload your own videos. However, the video uploads require you to upload files to myCloud instead of accessing Dropbox or Google Drive.
Using the Social Share feature, you can invite your friends or family via social media, sending a link through Twitter or Facebook.
Netflix Party is a browser extension for Google Chrome. It requires you and your friends to install the extension before you can start sharing.
After adding the extension, you simply log in to your Netflix account and select a video. You can then use the extension to create your Netflix Party and start inviting friends. Users can chat in real time as the synced video plays.
This extension does not work with other streaming platforms or local content. It is intended only for Netflix. However, it is one of limited options that allow you to watch synced Netflix shows.
With ShareTube, you can quickly create your own chat room and start inviting friends or family. You can also watch synced YouTube videos or create playlists.
ShareTube provides one of the simplest interfaces for creating or joining chat rooms. It also only works with YouTube.
You do not need to create an account. You simply create or join a room. You can then enter the URL of a YouTube video to begin syncing.
Synaptop is another web-based chat service that lets you watch a synced video with friends or family through a remote connection. As with the other options, it is also free to use but you need to create an account.
After creating your account, you add apps. These apps allow you to watch movies, listen to music, play games, read books, and even collaborate on work projects. It is a complete remote desktop for sharing all types of content.
The apps are all entirely web-based, which means that you do not need to download anything. The only drawback is that you can only select movies from a list of available titles on the website.
Airtime is a mobile app that is available for iOS and Android devices. It is designed to let you share everything on your mobile device with your friends, no matter where they are located.
You can watch videos together, listen to music, set up group video chats, or send messages. As with other apps, it only works with supported platforms. You can watch synced video from YouTube or listen to music from Spotify. You can also share GIFs and play games.
Togethr TV offers synchronized playback of video files via a web-based interface. It is one of the few Rabbit alternatives that also allows you to stream content from Netflix, Hulu, and other paid streaming services.
You do not share your login information. The web-based interface shares a remote desktop screen from your web browser. Another option is to allow the site to play a random video. You also have the option of streaming video or music files directly from your computer.
If you have a microphone, you can use audio chat with your friends and family. The service is completely free to use.
Syncplay is a downloadable program for your desktop or laptop computer. Your friends and family must also install the software on their own computers.
After installation, the software launches a media center that is synced between connected users. This allows you to play music or video files from your computer while remaining in sync with your friends and family accessing the same files.
The program is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux computers. There is no mobile version. However, it is free to use and supports almost all video formats.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Kast is the new successor of Rabbit app. Its mainly a desktop computer based software running on Windows and Mac machines and also from a Web Browser. An iOS mobile app is coming soon as well.
Kast is a comprehensive chat and sharing app supporting video, voice, text etc but also can be used to host movie and TV parties with more than 100 friends. You can even play games and share the video gaming experience in real-time with friends.
This is a relatively new mobile app with a main purpose to connect and explore the world if you want to learn about the culture, food, fashion, habits etc of a specific country.
However, it is not only that. Explorii is an all-in-one social networking app that includes also chatting capabilities, group video calls, private rooms for watching movies, instant messaging (free) with friends and family, free phone calls over the internet etc.