The new Netflix profiles gives a new life to your Netflix account, now programs will be geared to individual tastes and not a seemingly random amalgamation of what your family watches.
Netflix is a wonderful thing, but as anyone with a family will tell you, it can also be a pain. I love B-movies and my husband is a fan of Anime, and we also watch a lot of Sci-Fi. These three genres alone make for an interesting recommended queue, but to make it more confusing we also have a 5-year-old. We have no desire to watch Aquabats or Rescue Bots and we don’t want him watching the same programs as us.
Netflix Profiles Fixes Conflicts
I’ve been told that the Netflix recommendation engine is excellent, but the problem is that it only works if you have one person, with one taste, controlling the viewing. When you have people with different tastes watching on the same account, the recommendations get skewed towards whichever genre has the most viewing. In our case, it’s all about the 5-year-old boy. Even having it skewed towards him can still have some problems.
A recent shot of my opening Netflix Internet page on the computer shows a huge variety of child appropriate shows (you can tell who does most of the viewing). However, there are two that immediately pop out, “Breaking Bad” and “Orange is the New Black.”
Neither of these shows should be watched by a child, but because of our past viewing history, the Netflix engine doesn’t really know who we are.
Individualized to You
Netflix is working to solve that problem with their new Netflix Profiles. This enables multiple users of the same account to create their own individualized profile page. The idea is to give the recommendation engine a better idea of an individual viewer’s preferences. Profiles started rolling out on Netflix at the beginning of August. The profiles feature means you can now choose who is logged in and it will record viewing choices for that individual.
There is a maximum of five users that can be added to each account. If a profile is set for a child under the age of 12, there is a box you can check off which will direct the login to the Netflix Kids section, which is programming for those ages 12 and under.
This means that the Netflix recommendation engine will only get better as it now knows what your viewing habits, not your entire family’s. It will stop giving me recommendations like “Power Rangers” and start telling me about great B-movies and cult flicks like “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.”
If you aren’t using all of your profiles for individuals, you can use the profiles for themes such as family night, where it will recommend family appropriate viewing that the whole family can enjoy.
Share Your Viewing Habits
Netflix profiles can also be hooked up with your Facebook account, so you can share your viewing habits with your friends. This allows you and your friends to easily recommend movies and TV shows to each other. Users will be able to see which shows their friends have recently watched or rated.
In turn, you can also share your viewing habits. The true beauty is that you don’t have to reveal all of your guilty viewing habits — you have the control over whether you want to share particular titles.
No one needs to know that you regularly watch “Hannah Montana” or “My Little Pony” — you can keep those secrets to yourself.
The profiles feature is currently available on Netflix.com, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS devices and most Smart TVs and Blu-ray Players. Netflix plans to roll out the Netflix profiles on the Nintendo Wii soon and they have plans for Roku near the beginning of next year.
Profile Set up
Setting up your profiles is supposed to be easy. According to Netflix, “You can add up to five profiles at any time on the website by clicking Manage Profiles in the menu in the top right-hand corner of your screen or in “Your Account.” I didn’t have that option on my screen, so I simply clicked on the link found in their Help section, after I looked up Profiles, or you can click the link provided above. I am sure with future roll outs they will improve how you set your profile.
I will admit that once I was in there, setting it up was easy. It only took a few minutes to set up profiles for my son and myself. My husband still needs to do one and I think I will leave the main account set as overall family viewing, so it will have a strange mix.
Watching Netflix just got a lot better. Once Netflix knows my viewing habits, I won’t have to scroll through hundreds of children’s shows or countless Animes. It will start sending me recommendations of what I like. Now my son won’t be offered questionable shows and I won’t be inundated with cartoons, I think in the end we all win on this upgrade to Netflix profiles.
Photo Credit: Shaun_Sheep