Netflix Debuts Facebook Integration for Social Discovery

Netflix Debuts Facebook Integration for Social Discovery

By Corey Bergman for Lost Remote

Over two years ago, Netflix announced it was going to “regroup” with its Facebook strategy. Then the company decided to wait for Congress to change a 1988 law which prohibited “a video tape service provider” from revealing customer information. With the law changed in January, today Netflix is beginning to roll out its much-anticipated social features powered by Facebook’s social graph. And it goes beyond simply sharing stuff on Facebook.

The first step is authenticating your Facebook account inside Netflix. By default, you’re opting into automatically sharing your viewing information on Netflix itself, and if you’d like, you can turn on the ability to share to Facebook, too.

Once you’ve linked your account, you’ll see a new row that displays your “friend favorites” as well as separate rows showing what your friends are watching. These will ultimately appear across all Netflix experiences spanning the website, mobile apps and TV apps like Xbox and Playstation.

If you’re watching something you don’t want to share, you can click the “Don’t Share This” button. While you can turn off Netflix sharing in settings at any point, I noticed that you can’t choose to share to “friend favorites” (aggregate social recommendations) but opt out of sharing what you’re explicitly watching (that row that shows your friends exactly what you’re watching). For some, the latter may be a little creepy, but again, you can always click the “don’t share” button — and you can “unshare” previous titles that you’ve watched.

Also, it appears that you can only connect one Facebook account per Netflix account, and I have yet to see how this impacts families who use the same Netflix login.

Overall, we’re excited to see Netflix jump into social discovery, and clearly the upside is tremendous. We’re excited to see how Netflix evolves the experience, for example, integrating social signals into its recommendation algorithm to make discovery more powerful than ever.

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