After getting rid of some legal barriers, Netflix and Facebook have now cemented the friendship promised to us back in the fall of 2011, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Open Graph would give us all sorts of Facebook integrated actions. Well over a year later, Netflix users can finally broadcast their streaming media choices all over the social network, report Bloomberg's Scott Moritz and Robert Fenner.
Starting today, much like the way Spotify works, Facebookers can share and discover content through the network. Facebook and Netflix won't make the sharing mandatory, considering how not well it went over when Spotify did that. Those who opt in, however, will "see two new rows on their Netflix home page that show friends’ activities, and have the option to post films or television shows to Facebook and comment on them," write Moritz and Fenner. Netflix insists in a blog post that users "are in control of what gets shared."
Here's a video primer from Netflix:
After some stagnation, Facebook is trying to make its Open Graph actually do things: The social network just announced nine new actions for developers, including "want to watch" for TV and Movies.
As Netflix spends more money on original content, it needs to attract more users. CEO Reed Hastings believes this social integration will help the company do just that. "Social is going to be everything," he told Bloomberg. "Our kids are way more social than us; their kids will be way more social than them. You tell your friends about what you watch and they'll watch much more of what we offer." One of the big problems with keeping people subscribing is that they run out of reasons (ie. movies and shows to watch) to keep paying the fee. Seeing friend recommendations of additional stuff to watch might keep people around longer. So, it all sounds like a good plan—assuming people actually want their friends to know what movies they're watching late at night.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.