(Cybertech) – For the past couple years, Netflix has been testing a shuffle-style feature. Now, the company plans to finally launch it. Netflix announced during its latest financial results interview (see above) that the ability to shuffle will get a global rollout in the first half of 2021.
Netflix’s COO and chief product officer Greg Peters said the shuffle feature will let you skip browsing entirely by clicking one button, and then the streaming service will pick a title for you just to instantly play. During its tests of the feature, Netflix experimented with adding a “Shuffle Play” button on its profile select screen as well as a “Play Something” option in its menu. Example:
— Turner Levison (@TurnerLevison) August 18, 2020
The thing is, “Shuffle Play” might not be the feature’s final name.
Co-CEO Reed Hastings jokingly asked Peters during the financial results interview if it’ll be called “I’m Feeling Lucky”, based on Google’s search feature. But Peters rebuffed that, saying: “We’re going to come up with something better than that, so stand by for the specific verbiage”.
We all know the pain of trying to find a new series or movie to watch on Netflix; it doesn’t matter how long your watchlist has become, there’s never an easy way around it. Netflix clearly knows that people spend a whole bunch of time browsing for new stuff, too, which is why it likely developed a shuffle option. It lets Netflix take care of the selection so you can just start watching.
The idea is, Netflix knows your watch history, so it should be well-placed to serve you up a show or movie. Of course, as the Recommended For You section often now shows, that selection isn’t always flawless. It’ll therefore be interesting to see if people use the shuffle feature.
Peters told reporters the feature is “really working” for them in tests. So, here’s hoping the days of never finding anything to watch are numbered.
Writing by Maggie Tillman.