Netflix tends to bring out a few new features for subscribers each year, typically after testing and introducing them in limited markets or on certain devices. Several months back, we learned that the online giant were working on a “Shuffle Play” tool that uses your viewing history to select something for you to watch, potentially reducing time spent trying to make a choice. And now, the platform have confirmed that they’ll be rolling out “Shuffle Play” to worldwide users during the first half of 2021.
Revealed as part of Netflix’s Q4 earnings call this week, the news came from COO and chief product officer Greg Peters, who explained that early tests have been successful and had this to say about how people are using the feature:
“It’s really working for us where our members can basically indicate to us that they just want to skip browsing entirely, click one button and we’ll pick a title for them just to instantly play. And that’s a great mechanism that’s worked quite well for members in that situation.”
Although “Shuffle Play” is currently included on connected television systems, it will now be made more widely available. This gradual approach is how Netflix tend to do things, too, with new additions such as being able to remove titles from your “Continue Watching” queue first appearing on mobile systems. Other big changes, including the “Top 10” option, have also proved to be a hit with audiences, all presumably in a bid to make it easier to navigate the company’s large library of material.
The tool works by adding an icon to the interface that asks you to “Play Something” or “Shuffle Play”; once hit, you’ll get a piece of programming that should, in theory, match up with your past tastes and “My List” selections. There’s also a choice of clicking “Play Something Else” if you don’t like the suggestion.
Being able to shuffle play content will likely ease some of the hassle of wading through the Netflix catalog to pick something to watch. Personally, I stick to a well-stocked “My List,” but the prospect of letting the service pick for you is an intriguing one. At the very least, it might bring up things that I’d never plan to see, so it could be fun to try out.