Content curation and media recommendations, two factors that are crucial to the success of many online streaming services. Netflix relies heavily on a recommendations model to serve you new movies and TV shows based on your viewing history. What about those few shows you watched that were not of your normal tastes, why would you want recommendations based on those?
Netflix is testing a new feature that lets you go ‘off the record,’ a private viewing mode that does not register your viewing decisions into your history, doesn’t display on your connected Facebook profile and, most importantly, does not count toward your future recommendations.
The feature has been pushed out to a small group of users for testing, a process that could take months before they can even determine if this should be a permanent feature of the service. That’s right, the company’s new director of corporate communications and technology, Cliff Edwards says that “Privacy Mode” is just a test, that it may not ever go live for all users.
Netflix rather recently introduced profiles within accounts. Profiles have been a great way to keep the children’s shows separate from ‘mom & dad’s’ shows, at least as far as viewing history and recommendations go. With up to five profiles per account, users can even create a specific profile for their home viewing and another profile for their Android device, if those happen to be different watching habits.
Private viewing mode would allow users to further control recommendations, but only if they remember to go incognito before pressing play. No word yet if shows watched in privacy mode can then easily be marked as viewed, should they prove worthy of going into your viewing history.
Surely, with your entirely predictable and wholesome viewing habits, you have no need for a privacy mode, right?!?