‘Netflix’s Social Sharing Feature Makes No Sense’

Great news. You’ll now know the viewing preferences of your friends’ kids on Netflix, thanks to the service’s foray into social sharing via opt-in Facebook integration, announced earlier this morning. Because the company rushed to launch the feature ahead of a product release, which would allow family members and other shared account holders to set up their own profiles, that means parents will be inadvertently opting their children in to sharing their preferences for “Rugrats,” “My Little Pony,” and “Dora the Explorer.”

This is a great point I hadn’t considered when Netflix announced the service yesterday. Like Sarah Perez, I’m not the only Netflix user in the house – my kids use it too, since Netflix works on the Wii. When my 12 year old has sleepovers, he and his friends will often cue up cartoons, anime or action movies they want to watch.

I readily admit that not every Netflix user is in the same boat as Sarah Perez and me, but I don’t think we’re edge cases either.

Just like Amazon regularly tells me about products that I don’t want, Netflix makes recommendations based on “my” viewing I don’t care about, and here’s the thing – I don’t care enough to curate.

Do I mind people thinking that I’ve watched an entire season of Soul Eater? Not particularly. But if the goal here is to enable Facebook friends to see what each other likes on Netflix, the results are going to get skewed for parents and other people using shared accounts.

  • This is not a rushed feature more like a catch up one. I has been active since Netflix has been available outside the US for example Trinidad & Tobago where I live since its introduction. Its only recent US laws have allowed them to turn on the feature for the US.

  • If you ask me, and I know you didn’t, there’s too damn much ‘social’ in the world.

    • Really, it’s “anti-social”, as it’s sharing your likes of film and televisions shows with friend and family without your having to, you know, ever actually talk to them.

  • I’m in the same boat Peter. My “suggestions for you” section is completely worthless on Netflix, overflowing as it is with children’s shows based on my 4 year old daughter’s viewing habits. You’d think Netflix, with the millions of dollars they’ve poured into developing the recommendation algorithm, could delineate between mine and my daughter’s viewing habits and divide the recommendations. But no, in the same row of recommended selections I see “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad” next to “Barney” and “The Wonder Pets.”

  • kibbles

    i wish Netflix would revert back to the in-house sharing they used to offer — you could send reviews & notes to your friends in Netflix, share your queue, etc..

    they shut that down, and moved it to FB. why?

    • Tvaddic

      Facebook has more users, and they don’t have to pay for the infrastructure and also the Netflix CEO is on Facebook’s board.

  • Tvaddic

    They are working on different accounts, but it probably takes long because of all the apps they have, but they really want to push this social features because they have original content coming.