Netflix moves friends’ recommendations out of the Facebook news feed

September 3, 2014 01:52 PM

Netflix Inc. is moving its users’ recommendations to their friends from the Facebook news feed to private messages.

The streaming video and DVD rental company launched today a new feature that asks users if they know anyone else who would like the program they just watched. It then prompts users to find their friends by connecting Netflix to their Facebook account.

After a user selects her friends, she can add a message and click the Send button. The selected friends then receive the message the next time they log into Netflix. Or, for those who don’t connect their Netflix and Facebook accounts, Netflix sends the recommendation as a private message using Facebook private messages or Facebook’s Messenger app.

The feature is available on, as well as when users access the service using an iPad, iPhone, PS3, Xbox and many set-top boxes and smart TVs.

The feature aims to drive more users to discuss what they’re watching on Netflix, writes Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation at Netflix, in a blog post.

“You know that feeling 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,” he writes. “It’s the feeling of wanting your friends and family to enjoy the show just as much as you did.”

Johnson adds that when consumers connect their Netflix and Facebook accounts, the service will not publish anything to users’ news feeds or share what users watch. That’s a departure from Netflix’s previous approaches to Facebook. For example, last year Netflix introduced a feature that let online consumers who belong to the social network keep tabs on what their friends are watching and liking by sharing that information on users’ news feeds.

Netflix is No. 7 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide and its CEO, Reed Hastings sits on Facebook’s board of directors.





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