Exclusive: A first look at Netflix’s test of personalized profiles

Netflix profiles feature art

Netflix recently started to test personalized profiles with a limited subset of its subscribers, allowing them to create a separate profile for each member of their family. The company has talked about eventually doing this for some time, but kept quiet on details – until now. We were able to snap some exclusive photos of one of the iterations currently tested at the 2013 CES in Las Vegas.

But first, it’s worth pointing out a few things: The test is ongoing, and could take as long as six months, after which the company will evaluate whether it resulted in increased viewing and engagement times. If things work out, this is going to be rolled out to Netflix’s entire user base as an added feature set.

Also, Netflix typically tests a number of iterations with separate groups, which means that there are other implementations out there. And the final result could look very different from what you get to see here:


The test version showed separate viewing histories and recommendations for each profile. Users are able to fine-tune their profile by telling Netflix about their movie preferences, and profiles for kids under 12 are automatically based on the service’s Just for Kids UI. In addition, parents are able to restrict the type of content displayed on a kids profile based on movie ratings.

Netflix is typically testing these kinds of things on PC-based browsers as well as Sony’s PS3 first. I got to see a browser-based version, and don’t know if there’s also a PS3 implementation currently being tested.

I didn’t have a chance to play with the test too long, but I know that I’d like to see this come to my Netflix account sooner than later: As a parent, I often find all my movie recommendations dominated by kids titles – and as much as I like my kids, there are days when I want to watch other things than My Little Pony and Dragon Tales.

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