Netflix’s new sharing policy is more personal

Unlike some of my braver friends and acquaintances, I don’t link my social media accounts to Spotify or Netflix or any other streaming site that wants to share what I’ve been consuming. No one should have to know that I listen to the Alvin and the Chipmunks version of It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas every December (several times) or be alerted when I get a sudden 2AM urge to watch Erin Brockovich, and what if I accidentally click on something gross or embarrassing? They’ll never think of me the same way again.

But talking about stuff I’ve enjoyed and getting recommendations from friends? I could do that all day. Netflix has finally caught on to the fact that people prefer personalised recommendations to random updates, and, as the BBC reports, is changing its sharing policy to reflect that. Now, after you’ve watched something, the site will ask if you want to recommend it to Facebook friends, and if you agree, you can pick which people you think might like it.

Of course, used indiscriminately (or by people whose tastes clash with yours) it still has the potential to feel spammy. But the recs won’t be popping up on users’ newsfeeds and if the recommendee (totally a word) is a Netflix subscriber, it makes it a lot easier for them to add a new show or movie to their wishlist. I’m still not sure if I want to link my Netflix account to Facebook (despite their best efforts, I’d rather Facebook not know everything about me) but next time I watch something I can’t stop gushing about, it may be hard to stop me.

The update is live for people watching on PCs, iOS devices, web-connected TVs, Xbox and PlayStation systems and will be available for Android soon.

And yes, I have been (re)watching Dawson’s Creek. Shhhhh.

Diane Shipley