Netflix gets social with Facebook integration

Netflix has finally introduced Facebook-sharing integration for U.S. users of its movie-streaming service.

The Netflix Social features have been available to international Netflix customers for over a year, but the U.S. arrival had to wait until President Obama signed into a law a Senate bill that would allow frictionless sharing of videos on social media.

Netflix said in a blog post that U.S. members will have access to the social features “by the end of this week”.

How the new features work

When they become available, you will be able to see two new rows in your Netflix app of choice: Watched by Your Friends, which will show TV shows and movies watched by your fellow Neflix-subscribed Facebook friends, and Friends’ favorites, a showcase of the top-rated videos by your pals. You will have to connect your Netflix account to your Facebook account.

Your Facebook friends will also be able to see what you watch and rate highly, although, by default, sharing will only happen on Netflix. To display more details about the videos you are watching on Facebook, you will have to go to your account settings on Netflix.com to turn on additional Facebook-sharing options.

Also, if you don’t want to share a specific title, there is a new ‘Don’t Share This’ button in the player, which will remove the items from your sharing history.

Here's a Netflix video showing how the new features work:

“We will be adding the ability to turn on these features for our U.S. members over the coming days, so keep an eye out for them,” said Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation at Netflix. “Sharing movies and TV with friends online is still a new experience, and we will continue to experiment and improve our social features over the coming months and years,” he added.

While frictionless video sharing for Netflix users has been available more than a year outside the U.S., the movie-streaming service had to wait for changes in federal law until it could implement it in its home country.

History

The move would have been illegal under the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act, which required written consent for the information to be shared.

Netflix and Facebook last year backed legislation to tweak the older ‘Bork Law.’ The new bill was passed by the U.S. Senate in December and signed into law by President Obama in January 2013.

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