Tip of the hat to MikeK over at HackingNetflix.com for the heads-up to me (and all of his readers) about the webcast today:
Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, just announced at the CSFB conference, that Netflix will be adding a social networking layer to allow mutual-contacts (i.e., friends) to see what movies they’ve watched, their ratings & reviews, etc. Cool!
This is something Chris Darner and I talked about in 2002 when it was obvious to me that Netflix wasn’t developing a true network-effect; I also wrote about it here in reaction to their rollout of RSS feeds.
More thoughts after the webcast…
Clearly I don’t have access to this yet, and Netflix made it clear that there’s more functionality that will be rolling out next year… but based on something I heard Reed state as a competitive advantage (roughly paraphrased — “we have 400MM movie ratings”) makes me believe that they are still missing the big picture… that movie reviews/ratings + blogs = a huge low cost customer acquisition opportunity.
Netflix, don’t keep those reviews/ratings locked away. Help your users set them free (e.g., even a simple “my netflix ratings/reviews” blog widget as a start); I firmly believe you will paid back in spades.
Both Michele Turner (VP Product @ Netflix) and MikeK at HackingNetflix were both kind enough to invite me. I’ve invited about a dozen social networking CEOs, social media bloggers and journalists (so if you got an invite from me, now you know why!). If you’re not in but would like to be, and I know you, drop me an email or leave a comment.