Netflix redesigns Netflix Friends

I’m taking the day off from any serious blogging ahead of the start of the Kelsey conference tomorrow, but just had to share what feels like a late, bad April Fools joke…

I just got an email from Netflix (looks to be a mass mailing) informing me that they’ve “redesigned” Netflix Friends (which I previously reviewed and commented on), emphasis theirs:

“We hope you’re enjoying Netflix Friends. We’ve been busy finding ways to improve the feature and thought you might like to know that we’ve completely redesigned the Friends page. Starting tomorrow, here are some of the new things to look for.

What’s There? See what movies your friends are currently enjoying at home.

What’s Coming? See what movies your friends have coming next by taking a peek at their Queue.

What’s New? See what movies your friends just added to their Queue.”

Now, I suppose the voyeur in me finds this somewhat interesting… though at the same time, it feels just a bit creepy sharing this stuff. And sure, I can stretch and find a couple of use cases: a) Looking at what a friend has so that I can invite myself over to watch their movie, or b) Asking them to swap a movie they have on-hand that’s long-waited in my queue [Peerflix-like]…

These new features feel like a miss to me (with the caveats above), and don’t address any of the “what’s missing” items I mentioned in my review. Am I missing some huge benefit to having read-only access to a Friend’s queue?

Update: As usual, Mike @ HackingNetflix is on top of things. He calls out one very salient point that I passed on (I already feel like Debbie Downer doing product reviews these days); why not give users control over what they do and don’t share with Friends (rather then recommending that you drop friends you aren’t comfortable sharing your queue contents with)?

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