Netflix Launches Private Facebook Recommendations

Netflix House of Cards United States - H 2013

Netflix House of Cards United States - H 2013

For those guilty pleasures

Netflix has unveiled a new recommendation tool that allows subscribers to share shows with some Facebook friends without blasting their entire social network. 

The Netflix social recommendation feature will sync with Facebook to send specific friends suggestions of TV shows and films to watch on the streaming service. Netflix director of product innovation Cameron Johnson writes on the company blog that the new tool is meant for times when "you've watched something really great, something that moves you or makes you laugh, and you immediately think of someone else who would love it too." 

In an instructional YouTube video, Netflix explains that the tool works when someone has finished watching a video on the service. It's then that a blue "find friends" button will appear on the screen. A viewer can click on that button and then select friends who would also enjoy the show. That recommendation will appear the next time they log into Netflix. Friends who haven't connected their Netflix account to Facebook will receive the recommendation as a private message on Facebook.

The feature — available on the website and most Netflix apps, including set-top boxes, smart TVs, iPads, iPhones, PlayStations and Xboxs — does not post to a person's news feed and only shares the recommendation with the specified friends. It's a departure from common Facebook sharing features, which appear on users' timelines and alert their social network via a news feed post. 

The Facebook recommendation feature compliments the streamer's current recommendation tool, which uses past viewing habits to suggest movies and shows that fit into specific, and oftentimes niche, genres.