Netflix starts testing out a shuffle button for indecisive watchers
Back in the day, there were hundreds of cable channels and seemingly nothing to watch on TV. Now, the problem has transferred over to Netflix in the age of streaming. If you count yourself among the crop of bingers who appear to scroll through movie after show after movie endlessly without deciding on anything at all to occupy your time, then there might be hope for you yet.
Back in July, Netflix began testing out a shuffle button, which allowed users the option of having the service randomly select a movie or show for them to watch, according to a spokesperson for the company. Now, as the streamer looks to further hone its user experience, that shuffle button has been made available to a larger testing pool in August.
Tech Crunch was the first to report on the feature.
The button can appear in multiple areas within a user account: beneath the profile icons on the profile selection gateway, in the side menu, and attached to the billboard menu (the spot for trailers and featured releases). The shuffle option further caters to individual user tastes based on what titles were previously searched, what was selected for a user's queue, and similar criteria. The more users have interacted with Netflix the more personalized the shuffle option will feel, though it's also meant to help recommend programming for brand-new Netflix subscribers.
For TV specifically, there's more nuance than recommending a new binge obsession. The system will also take note of the shows users have already watched and incorporate unwatched episodes into the random selection.
It's not too dissimilar to what Netflix did last year when testing out a shuffle button for TV shows specifically; users would click the button and be directed to a random episode within a specified series. In fact, it's a direct result of the user feedback from that phase of testing. The new shuffle option is "a bit more in line with what members had been saying they wanted and to help fit the case of helping members discover content," a spokesperson told EW.
This is also just "one of many things that we're looking at in testing," the rep added.