Coffee Talk #676: Streaming Services and Social Layers

I’ve been wishing for the confluence of streaming services and social layers for a long time. With new services like Scener and Netflix Party, it’s finally happening. Although it’s not quite what I was looking for, these services are a welcome addition to the streaming video experience.

Netflix Party, Scener, and You

Netflix Party and Scener are extensions that work on top of streaming video services. Both add video and text chat windows to video. Netflix Party works with Netflix (duh), while Scener works with a number of streaming video services. Scener also has the added distinction of being officially supported by HBO Go and HBO Now.

These services aim to offer an experience that’s akin to watching a movie or television show with friends, sans physical presence. This is especially welcomed during a global pandemic, when social distancing and stay-at-home practices are strongly encouraged. Video calls through Facetime, Zoom, etc. are great, but watching movies and TV with your nearest and dearest takes it to another level.

If you’ve ever dreamed of starring in your own version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 or you simply miss watching TV with your friends, Netflix Party and Scener are worth checking out.

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Coffee Talk #674: Should Netflix Be More Social?

Did you ever wish that Netflix had more social features? It’s something that I think about often. In many ways, it seems like a great opportunity; adding a social layer to Netflix would give it stickiness, increase the amount of time people use the service, and help the company retain subscribers. In my head, social features on Netflix would be fun and useful for several reasons.

  • You could get recommendations based on what your friends are watching.
  • You could see when friends are done binge-watching new shows and see who you can have spoiler-free discussions with.
  • You could see what your friends are watching and make fun of anyone that watches Maid in Manhattan.

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