Well, this could be the start of something…logical. On its blog today, Netflix announced that starting right about now, users who like something they’ve seen on the service can opt to recommend it to friends of theirs on Facebook.
But, smartly and significantly, the recommendations “will not post to Facebook or share what you watch to your friends’ News Feed,” the blog points out. Instead, users who’ve already hooked up Facebook will see a line-up of their friends, and they’ll be able to choose the ones they want; those people will see the recommendation the next time they visit their Netflix account.
If they watch it, Netflix will notify the person that did the recommending.
For those who haven’t linked their Netflix and Facebook accounts, the recommendation will come as a private message to Facebook Messenger.
This all sounds kind of civil and sort of discreet, in an era that seems increasingly in-your-face.
Maybe that's because some movie recommendations might not be totally based on the quality of the acting. A Netflix recommendation could be a great big amorous hint, maybe, or something on the ugly opposite side of that. I’m probably overthinking and besides, a study from Hub Entertainment Research last week concluded that, anyway, getting recommendations via social media isn’t so great.
But really, the Netflix recommendation idea seems so…exploitable and simple it’s amazing they hadn’t thought of it a long time ago.
THE MATTER OF INTERACTING between users and content providers took another significant step in the last few days.
PewDiePie (aka Felix Kjellberg), who just reached the 30 million YouTube subscriber mark, took the bold step of announcing he’s disabling the comment capability to his site, because, now, it’s mostly garbage.
From now on, he’ll talk to fans via Twitter or Reddit.
That kind of decision is surely going to make some other sites and YouTube stars begin to think about doing the same thing, and prompt more conversations about what kind of real, valuable discourse is going on anyway. If a proclaimed value of online video is the engagement, what if the comments are inane or promotional or created by mean-spirited trolls? It’s a great question to ask and an interesting one to answer.
PewDiePie, despite being a whole lot juvenile, is also a whole lot brilliant in my book, and he said on his latest video that while he was on vacation, he got to really read through a lot of the comments again. Clearly, he was repulsed.
The video “Goodbye Forever Comments” posted on Friday has over 6 million views so far. After an equally remarkable essay about the ALS icy-bucket trend (and why he's not going to do it), at 2:37 into the video, he begins:
“I’m not trying to offend you bros who show a lot of support and I really appreciate it but I don’t see it that much anymore. I don’t see the same kind of support. I make videos every day for you, bros…I think the main reason there are the comments--I know I complain about the comments a lot--but it’s basically my main way to communicate with you bros.
“I go to the comments and it’s mainly spam, it’s people self-advertising, it’s people trying to provoke, people trying to reply to that, just all this stuff that to me just doesn’t mean anything. I don’t care about it. I don’t want to see it. I just don’t care.
“I want to know what you bros say or what’s going on with you bros but I don’t see that because it gets blocked out by all these things….I was hoping it would get better. I was hoping YouTube would find a way out. But it doesn’t seem like it. I’m just sick of it so I’m going to turn the comments off, forever. They’re not coming back, this time around. . .”