So, would you like to see what your Facebook friends are watching on Netflix? How about letting your FB buddies see what you're watching?
That sounds spooky to a lot of people but it's apparently something Netflix customers have been saying they want, and now it's here.
Netflix announced today that its U.S. members will be able to connect to Facebook and agree to share favorite TV shows and movies on Netflix. The company will be turning on the feature "over the coming days" and expects that all U.S. members will have access to the social feature by the end of the week.
"There are few better ways to find a movie or TV series you'll love than hearing about it from your friends," said Tom Willerer, vice president of product innovation at Netflix. "Facebook already makes it easy for our international members to connect with friends over TV shows and movies and we're thrilled to now bring this experience to our U.S. members."
The feature has been available internationally for quite some time but, until recently, it was prohibited in the U.S. by something called the Video Privacy Protection Act, enacted in 1988 to keep prying eyes from finding out what movies consumers rented from Blockbuster and other video rental stores. It was amended by Congess last year after some intensive lobbying by Netflix.
The new Netflix/Facebook integration lets Netflix members see what their friends have watched by adding new "Friends' Favorites" and "Watched by your friends" rows to Netflix. Members also automatically share what they watch only within Netflix and can optionally share what they've watched to Facebook, Netflix said.
"People naturally talk about TV shows and movies and love to share their experiences," said Willerer. "Through the Netflix/Facebook integration we want to let Netflix members express themselves on Facebook and provide a digital version of the proverbial water cooler."
"By default, sharing will only happen on Netflix," Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation at Netflix, wrote in a blog post. "You'll see what titles your friends have watched in a new 'Watched by your friends' row and what they have rated four or five stars in a new 'Friends' Favorites' row. Your friends will also be able to see what you watch."
Johnson provides a step-by-step guide in this video: