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Rabbit is reminding us all today that it’s fun to watch your favorite shows with your friends. And it’s announcing more ways for you to do it anytime, anywhere, even when you’re not physically together.
Rabbit wants to make watching TV and movies more social. It launched in 2015, and has grown on both mobile and web platforms. Today, it is adding a variety of new features, like real-time or delayed viewing.
Amanda Richardson, who joined in August as CEO, had a baby in September.
In a statement, Richardson said, “Rabbit’s ability to let you watch any video content with anyone, anywhere in the world, at the same time, is unmatched. Users love Rabbit — we have 3.6 million monthly actives and 2-3x growth year over year, and that’s all with zero marketing spend.
“The future of all content is social, and this update is just the next step in how the world will consume content. We think users are going to love how these new features make it even easier to watch anything with anyone, and I’m excited for additional features, platforms and partnerships we’re lining up in the coming year.”
Here’s how it works. You can invite your friends into a group you’ve made on Rabbit. It’s like an online living room. The shows you love play in-sync for everyone, whether you’re binging on the new season of Stranger Things or catching the latest from Rhett & Link on YouTube. Everyone can talk about it with on-screen texts, GIFs, or even live video or audio reactions.
Rabbit is adding updates to Groups. Almost all viewing on Rabbit happens among people who are already friends. These updates make that better.
The company is making all of your Groups ongoing. Your conversations can grow and unfold as each of your friend groups watches more and more shows. You can be a part of as many groups as you’d like, which means you can watch different shows with your high school friends, college friends, fellow sci-fi fans — you name it. Setting up different groups keeps those different conversations in the right place.
Presence notifications tell your friends when you’re watching something live in case they want to hop in and watch with you right then.
Multiple shows can be added to the group. Now, your friends can use that same group to watch and talk about all kinds of shows, whether it’s a YouTube show, a streaming series, or a classic sitcom. Rabbit’s technology even supports the ability for each friend in the group to be watching their own show simultaneously.
Rabbit is also giving people more flexibility around when they can watch. Now, in addition to watching in-the-moment (synchronously) with your friends, Rabbit is also making it possible for you to catch up when you can (asynchronous from your friends’ schedules).
Rabbit has also redesigned and reorganized some of the main features so that you can get what you want faster. It is easier to set up and navigate to your groups so you can get right to watching with your friends. You can also search all subscription services at once. If you want to watch This Is Us but don’t know where to find it, you can now perform one search.
It all goes live today on iOS and Android. Other updates will appear on the web version later. Rabbit users watch an average of 12.5 hours a month, and the most active users watch 28.5 hours a month.
“Rabbit brings social back to television,” said Jeremy Levine, Rabbit board member and partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, in a statement. “They solved the major technical challenge of delivering a perfectly in-sync viewing experience for friends watching together across the Internet. Even a one-second delay can ruin the excitement of a critical sports play or a joke’s punchline. That’s why what Rabbit is building is so exciting. They’ve figured out a reliable, scalable way to stream perfectly in-sync whether users are watching from opposite coasts or around the world.”
Rabbit has 30 employees, and it is moving from San Mateo, California to nearby Burlingame.
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