A new feature dropped on my Netflix this week, a new icon that offers to just ‘Play Something’, essentially a random shuffling option, and I see the reason for it, there’s a good purpose for a feature like this, though I don’t think the implementation is quite as it should be yet.
The idea makes a lot of sense, it’s ideal for when you want to just ‘watch something’ but don’t have specifically what that’d be in mind. I’ve wanted something like this, even if I didn’t realize it as I’m sometimes a little overwhelmed for choice, though not considering the Netflix library as a whole.
Personally, I don’t find myself aimlessly scrolling through all Netflix has to offer for something to find. The closest I get to that scenario is when I occasionally know the genre I fancy and look to see if there’s something in that section that stands out. Regularly though, I go to where the best of Netflix has already been curated by someone whose taste I trust, an assortment of things I am likely to enjoy, my watchlist.
When I tried the feature last night, the suggestion was ‘Virgin River’, not something I’ve ever had in my watchlist, and though I’ve never seen it I don’t think it’s even particularly similar to anything else that’s in my watchlist or history. Shuffling and suggesting things I’m not all that interested in will ultimately make me less likely to use the feature, it feels like a waste of time if I just keep skipping to the next suggestion for ages before landing on something (likely already on my watchlist) I might be tempted to stick with to watch.
I’ve checked my settings and can’t see the option I’m looking for, though if someone else has it on theirs please let me know as I’ll be interested to hear about it. Essentially, all they need to do is give options to narrow down the selection the ‘something’ could be chosen from, one for the whole Netflix library for those who want that, one that narrows it to just the profile watchlist, and possibly another popular categorization.
It’s a interesting first version of the feature, a promising idea that, if Netflix refines it a little, could become a popular feature I’d use regularly.