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Netflix tests private viewing mode to hide your B-movie binges

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We’ve all been down that road: You decide to watch some roadhouse B-movie fare on Netflix, (S NFLX) hoping that it will be fun on some level, but it ends up just being a very bad choice — one that you and everyone sharing your account are reminded of the next day, and that your friends may even see as well, if you have chosen to share your viewing with Facebook. (S FB)

Netflix may be able to help you with those B-movie binges soon: The company is starting to test a private viewing mode. Cliff Edwards, the company’s new director of corporate communications and technology, described the tested feature this way in an email:

[blockquote person=”” attribution=””]”At Netflix we continuously test new things. In this case, we are testing a feature in which a user watching a movie or TV show can choose to view in “Privacy Mode.” Choosing that option means the program will not appear in your viewing activity log, nor will it be used to determine recommendations about what you should watch in the future.”[/blockquote]

Disregarding titles viewed in privacy mode from future recommendations should also help to influence the quality of those recommendations, especially if you hand over your remote to visitors or house-sitters who use your Netflix account.

The feature is being tested across all of Netflix’s markets, and tests could go on for a few months, but not every user will have access to it. Edwards said that a general roll-out will very much depend on how the feature performs in these tests. “We may not ever offer it generally,” he cautioned.

25 Responses to “Netflix tests private viewing mode to hide your B-movie binges”

  1. Don’t link your account to Facebook. Problem solved. Oh I forgot. Many people have no sense of privacy and over sharing. The world does need to know everything that you do.

  2. pjamese3

    Nice that they’re giving us the option to hide those unrated movies. What would actually be more useful is to be able to remove movies/tv shows from the recently watched list. That stuff just sits out there forever and makes it harder to find the next show you want to view.

    • Because this is how a company works? The Content Acquisition team is constantly negotiating and fighting to improve the quality of the offerings, while the Programming teams improve the quality of the service, UI, app stability, etc. Just because they coded a Private Mode doesn’t mean they put their best content negotiators on coding duty…

  3. sathish rao

    Can’t they start this by making the log-in based on the profile rather then Account/Domain ? For eg., currently there can be multiple profiles created per Account & once a user logs in to his Account, he can look into any profile in the account. So, there is no privacy across profiles of an Account.

  4. Michelle

    Couldn’t this be solved by… you know not connecting everything to your social media account? I don’t have this problem at all, because I wouldn’t ever connect anything like this to anything else!

    • Bobbie

      It’s also the for the hubby who’s been watching titty movies at 3am and doesn’t want his wife to find out. Or worse, the kids to hit play on the last watched movie, which is something like “Naughty Alien Girls Go Camping”.

  5. Justin

    If you’re ever ashamed of something you see on Netflix you may want to consider therapy or at the very least get new friends and disown your family.

    Talk about pointless shame… Seriously folks, there are some solid fetishes out there that would make baby Jesus cry. Hint: Get one of those.