Netflix tries adding human recommendations
Staff Reporter | On 28, Aug 2019
Netflix is trying out the novel idea of good old-fashioned human recommendations of what to watch.
The streaming giant is famous for its data-driven approach to business, whether that’s assessing how a title is performing with its intended audience or micro-targeting users based on previous viewing behaviour or even changing the poster it displays for different users in an attempt to keep people engaged and stay on the platform for longer. Its algorithms, though, have often been criticised by users for for not making new releases prominent enough on their account homepage or for burying less mainstream titles.
In response, HBO has launched its own “recommended by humans” service to present viewers with titles curated by hand. Now, Netflix is hitting back with a test to see whether the human touch is worth adding to the platform.
Under the title Collections, the new feature will thematically group movies and TV shows in the same way its algorithm already does, but with an added element of curation. The experiment, as always, is limited to a small set of users as Netflix determines whether to roll it out to a wider audience, with the test thought to be limited to iOS users.
“We’re always looking for new ways to connect our fans with titles we think they’ll love, so we’re testing out a new way to curate Netflix titles into collections on the Netflix iOS app,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
“Just for laughs” and “Short and funny” are among the categories shown by a user on Twitter.
Whether the test becomes a more permanent feature time will only tell.