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TV & streaming

Amazon Prime Video finally gets one of Netflix’s most basic features

Amazon is ahead of the curve on so many things that its rivals are usually playing catch-up. Between Prime, Amazon Web Services and drone deliveries, competitors certainly have their work cut out for them if they want to go toe-to-toe with Jeff Bezos.

That certainly hasn’t stopped Amazon’s competitors from trying, however. Tap or click here to find out more about Walmart’s upcoming Prime competitor.

In spite of Amazon’s forward-thinking tendencies, Prime Video has been lagging behind mainstream platforms like Netflix in one major department: individual user profiles. But those days are finally over, and Amazon is letting Prime Video users create separate profiles for watch-lists, recommendations and more. Here’s how you can set yours up.

Amazon finally brings user profiles to Prime Video

Individual user profiles have been a standard feature on Hulu and Netflix for some time. They’re useful for keeping watch-histories separate from friends and family members and can help viewers track their binge-watching progress without interruption.

Until recently, Amazon Prime Video had no access to such a feature, which left families with Amazon streaming devices somewhat puzzled on what to do. But all that is changing now that Amazon is finally giving users access to profiles — complete with separated watchlists, recommendations and viewing histories.

Related: Tap or click here to see how Prime Video stacks up against Netflix, Hulu and others.

Prime Video users can create up to six profiles for one account. One profile is set as the “primary” associated with the Amazon account itself, while the others can include basic profiles for adults and kids.

Kid accounts, unlike adult accounts, will only display child-friendly content without excessive violence or sexuality. These profiles cannot make purchases using the primary account holder’s credit card, and searching Prime Video while logged into the kid account will also only result in age-appropriate results.

Once it is available for your account, you’ll see the option for profiles upon booting Prime Video. If you already have wallet-sharing set up in your Amazon Household settings, Prime Video will automatically create profiles for any names listed. Convenient!

This feature is gradually rolling out to Amazon customers in the U.S., and will first be available in the iOS, Android, Fire tablet and Fire TV version of the Prime Video app. If you don’t see the option to create new profiles immediately upon login, it just hasn’t reached your account yet.

This process will likely take a few weeks, and once your account is ready, you can start your binge-watching immediately.

Bonus: How to watch movies with your friends over the web

During COVID-19, people have started to plan “watch parties” for shows and movies as a way of socializing remotely. All it takes to do it right is to make sure everyone’s video syncs up at the same time.

You may also like: 5 things you didn’t know your smartphone could do

And thanks to new features added by the biggest streaming services, starting a watch party is as easy as pushing a button. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Amazon Prime Video: Search for the video you want to watch and select it. On the page that appears for the video, click on the new Watch Party icon.
  • Netflix: Netflix doesn’t have an official option, but you can start streaming with friends by downloading the Netflix Party or Scener Chrome extensions app to start watching together.
  • Hulu: Select titles will have a “watch party” icon available on the video’s page. Keep in mind that you must have an ad-free Hulu account ($11.99 per month) in order to use this feature.
  • HBO: Just like with Netflix, you’ll have to use the Scener extension to link your account and start watching with friends. Once it’s installed on your Chrome browser, click the icon and add your account information to start watching.

Streaming services are making things much easier for all of us. Too bad it took a pandemic to get here.

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