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It took an act of Congress to make it possible, but Netflix on Wednesday launched social features and a partnership with Facebook that will allow subscribers to share with others which movie titles they have been watching.
The feature has been available in foreign markets where Netflix operates, but a 1988 law called the Video Privacy Protection Act forced the company to abandon what it called its “Friends and Community” initiative three years ago.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had lobbied for a change in the law, and he recently got his wish, so he struck a deal with Facebook — where he is a board member — and on Wednesday, Netflix began rolling out the new social service.
The service, explained in a video Netflix posted on YouTube, lets users share which movies they’re streaming and which titles they liked best. They can share within Netflix or choose to also share on Facebook.
See Netflix’s YouTube video below.
Netflix users can connect to Facebook by clicking the “Social Settings” section of the Netflix website. The new feature will add two new rows of recommended titles, one dubbed “Friends’ Favorites” and the other called “Watched by your Friends.”
“With their integration, Netflix has a new opportunity to reach the more than 1 billion people on Facebook,” said Facebook director of platform partnerships and operations Justin Osofsky.
Apparently, investors agreed, bidding the stock up 6 percent on Wednesday to $192.36. The stock has more than doubled so far this year.
“There are few better ways to find a movie or TV series you’ll love than hearing about it from your friends,” said Netflix vice president of product innovation Tom Willerer.
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