Netflix’s new Shuffle Play button will come to all users before the summer, hopefully by the time we’re all allowed to go outside and see our mates again.
The company confirmed the feature, which has enjoyed a limited rollout thus far, during its quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, when it announced it had surpassed 200 million worldwide subscribers.
During the call, the company referred to a new feature, saying users had responded positively to having content chosen for them, rather than endlessly scrolling for something to watch.
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“As we bring our members more great programming, we’re always listening and working to make it easier for them to find the right show and film to watch,” Netflix wrote in the letter to shareholders (via TechCrunch).
“As another exciting step in this effort, we’ve been testing a new feature that gives members the ability to choose to instantly watch a title chosen just for them versus browse. The response has been positive and we plan to roll it out globally in the first half of 2021.”
Those already seeing the feature are greeted with the option on the select profile page. When choosing the option, Netflix viewers will be shown the first episode of a show Netflix recommends.
Given the power of Netflix’s recommendation algorithm, there’s a decent chance the company can select something you’ll be interested in watching and save you the time of endlessly scrolling and asking your partner “well what do you want to watch?”
However, the feature follows other initiatives that already reduce the autonomy Netflix users have over what they see within the user interface. Instead of user reviews, it now recommends titles with a percentage of suitability for the viewer based on their previous viewing habits.
Are we heading towards a future where Netflix just picks what you want to watch?