Synchronous Technologies: Youtube shared and Showgoers

YouTube has recently released a chat app to watch videos with your friends. I've tried to adopt this chat app and tried to force it upon some of my closer friends. Its usage lasted for a whopping two days. The purpose of the application was so that you could watch Youtube videos while chatting about with your friends. However, there were a bunch of disappointing features of the app

You're not really watching the video with them. I expected some sort of live control, where the video would have shared playhead control access among all the users. If we were all watching the same content at the same time, we would feel connected. It would feel like I'm hanging out with my buddies at someones house. Without this feature, this app no longer becomes special because it loses that "live" feature. Also, the keyboard covers up 50% of the screen real estate, covering up all of the chat. This drives the unconnectedness of this application even more.

While I was in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend, we used this app called Showgoers. It was, among many others, a Google Chrome extension that allowed multiple users to sync and watch a Netflix program. If I paused the movie, the movie would pause at the same spot on her screen as well. We were connected by this strange limitation. We used this app along with Skype so that we could see each others faces in the corner of the screen while watching a movie. This was an example of a live technology that actually felt "live". It was like I was watching the movie right next to her.

I feel that "live" technologies require interaction with other users. If something is live, you need to be able to affect others that are using the same technology as you. If I told my long distance girlfriend to watch a movie by pressing the play button on our separate Netflix accounts, I could easily in the middle of the movie pause the movie to go the bathroom and she would never know. There needs to be something that connects the two users so that we can both see and hear each others reactions as they are happening.