The story of Invited.tv begins in May of 2020. I had just finished my semester of school and had just gotten back home to see my family for the first time in a couple of months. I remember vividly sitting at the kitchen table and brainstorming for a new project to take on. For two days, I remember being utterly bored.
I call up a programmer friend who tells me about a web app he is working on – essentially a website that would let you play board games together virtually. Honestly, I wasn’t too interested in the project, but I liked the idea of connecting people together to do something fun. I eventually came up with the idea of creating a site that would allow users to play local multiplayer GameCube games virtually. I expressed this idea to a fellow classmate, and we began working away.
After some time, we decided to pivot. We wanted to create something that could be used for more than just gaming, and that’s when we decided to take on watch parties and virtual hangouts.
More Engaging Watch Parties
With Invited, we wanted to go beyond traditional watch parties. The traditional solutions to watch anime, movies, and tv shows together online include screen sharing or manually counting down to press play. While these solutions work, they make for a very restrictive environment for the viewer and quite a burdensome situation for the host.
With screen share, if a viewer wanted to pause or choose what to watch next, they would have to tell the host and the host would have to fumble around being told what to search and what to click. In a manual counting down watch party, if anyone needed to go to the bathroom, everybody would need to pause their video. Not to mention, hosts may not always feel comfortable with broadcasting their personal desktop screen for others to see.
We needed to eliminate the friction that came with traditional watch party solutions and make for more engaging virtual get togethers.
Invited does this using a shared virtual browser and the concept of remote control. Viewers can now request to pick up the remote at any time to control the virtual browser, hosts no longer need to worry about broadcasting their personal computer screens and video synchronization amongst all the viewers is automatically done. With all this and the most recent addition of video chat, virtual watch parties feel more connected than ever.
Beyond Watch Parties
While watch parties are a very popular use of Invited, our idea for Invited was always to first create the perfect platform for virtual hangouts. Taking a step back from seeing Invited as just a watch party app, you quickly realize that Invited is really just the online experience of a group of friends sharing a web browser – and there is much that can be done with a web browser beyond just watching videos. Treating Invited as a collaboration tool, students can research, practice presentations, and study together online. Invited can be used to listen to music together. With the remote control, again, anybody can just jump in and queue up a new song. Users can even use Invited to draw together.
After two months of development, Invited launched on July 2nd, 2020 and it has been full steam ahead ever since. We created a Discord server and we were quickly approached by a number of very passionate users giving us suggestions for the platform.
It was clear to us that this project was nowhere near done, and that we were going to be in for one wild ride. While we are only two developers, it is important to us that we look beyond the technical side of Invited. We are constantly on the Invited Discord and Twitter, ready to assist with any issues our users may have.
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We like to run community watch party events on the Invited Discord, and we often spend time discussing new suggestions and ideas with our users. Invited.tv strives to be the best group watch and virtual hangout solution on the market. Whether you want to watch anime, movies, or tv shows together with friends online, or want to get together for an online study session, Invited is here for you.