- Netflix has officially launched a “Play Something” option that will play another movie or show Netflix feels you might enjoy based on your preferences.
- Before its public release, the functionality had been under development for some years.
- So far, user reaction to the update has been favorable, according to Netflix.
‘Play Something’ introduced to Android devices
Netflix has officially launched a new feature for Android users that will make it easier to discover anything to watch when you can’t decide what to watch. The “Play Something” function is a shuffle mode option that will play another movie or show Netflix feels you might enjoy based on your preferences and past viewing behavior.
These options may include, among other things, a movie or program you’re already viewing but haven’t finished, a movie or show on your watch list, or a brand-new series or film recommended by Netflix’s personalization algorithms.
Before its public release, the functionality had been under development for some years. Netflix, for example, was testing it as “Shuffle Play” last year. In its Q4 2020 financial report, Netflix stated that its shuffle mode will be available to customers globally in the first half of 2021, characterizing it as a means to “instantly view a title” that was picked specifically for the individual.
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The rollout schedule was partially realized
“Play Something,” as the function was renamed, was made available to all Netflix TV app users globally in April. Here, the option can be found in a variety of places, including the profile selection screen beneath your profile name, the navigation menu to the left of your screen, and the tenth row on your Netflix homepage — a location meant to appear right when you’re getting frustrated with browsing and may have otherwise exited the app. Additionally, Netflix customers who use screen readers might utilize Text-to-Speech (TTS) to access “Play Something.”
At the time, the business stated that it will shortly begin testing the functionality on mobile devices, beginning with Android. The experiments were then launched in late May.
So far, user reaction to the update has been favorable, according to Netflix, who even pointed to a few tweets in which users appreciated the function.
Keeping up with Short-form video
However, for Netflix, the shuffle mode function isn’t just about providing customers another, simpler method to watch — it’s also a way of keeping users in the app before they go on to another entertainment choice, whether that’s a competitor streamer or a social networking app for video, such as TikTok.
In fact, the danger posed by short-form video is so significant that Netflix just developed its own TikTok-like feature for its mobile app dubbed “Fast Laughs,” which displays a feed of comedic videos designed to attract viewers to its content. Putting a number to this possible danger, TikTok stated at an event last week that 35 percent of its users were watching less TV as a result of TikTok, citing statistics from its own study. “Play Something” joins other newer innovations such as a smart downloads feature dubbed “Downloads for You” and support for partial play downloads, as well as the Top 10 list, which was added last year.