Coffee Talk #674: Should Netflix Be More Social?

Netflix 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.

Maie in Manhattan Netflix
If you watch and like Maid in Manhattan on Netflix then you deserve to be mocked. A Netflix social layer would help make that happen.

There are all kinds of possibilities here. The social networking features would, ideally, be easy to use and easy to ignore. It seems fairly easy for Netflix to add a social layer to its service. So why not add one?

Then again, adding such features could be a colossal flop. Apple’s iTunes has a tremendous installed base and the company completely whiffed at social networking with Ping. Sticking to music for a second, Spotify has some light Facebook-based features that some people find useful. That’s not enough though. Keeping the social layer within the service would help ensure that (some) subscribers spend more time using it.

I’d love to see Netflix add a solid (but light) social layer. It would be great to get useful recommendations based on what my friends are watching and liking. Really though, I just want to make fun of friends that are watching crap movies (like Maid in Manhattan) and giving them a thumbs up.

Having said all that, I’m sure there are millions of Netflix subscribers that are perfectly content consuming media and want nothing more from the service. What say you? Would social networking features add to the Netflix experience? Is that something you’d use and enjoy? Or are you happy with Netflix working the way it does? Don’t you want to mock friends that watch Maid in Manhattan? Leave your thoughts in the comments section (please!).