Netflix Is Getting Rid of the Instant Queue

netflix instant queue

Good-bye, Instant Queue, we hardly used ya: Netflix is working on other ways to bookmark and display favorite movies as part of its online video offering and could eventually retire its current Instant Queue model, according to comments made by the company’s chief product officer Neil Hunt over the holiday weekend.

Hunt wrote last week on Quora:

“The queue is optimized to DVD shipping, and we think its a poor vehicle to remember interesting content to stream. We are planning a round of exploration of simpler, more natural “remember” functionality.”

Netflix has been using its Instant Queue ever since it started its Watch Instantly offering in January 2007. Users can add movies to the Queue through the website much in the same way they control the list of titles they’re requesting for rental on DVD.

The Instant Queue also used to be the only way to watch Netflix videos on many devices, but most platforms have switched to a more universal approach in recent months, offering users the ability to browse the entire Netflix catalog as well as search for specific titles. (Check out a video comparing Netflix UIs on different devices below.)

However, there is still a number of legacy devices that depend on the more simplified Instant Queue approach, so we shouldn’t expect it to completely disappear overnight. It’s also unclear yet what exactly Netflix wants to use to replace the Queue. Again, Hunt:

“Can we find a solution that increases utility, or does the pure “click-and-watch” interface win for the majority of users?”

What’s your take? Should Netflix get rid of the Instant Queue completely, or does it need a more flexible solution to mark movies and TV show episodes for later viewing? Let us know in the comments!


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