Stories change our perception of ourselves and our surroundings, tap into our emotions and connect with characters deeply. With the help of technology and innovation, the evolution of storytelling from books to the silver screen and now on OTT platforms, such as Netflix, has become simple and seamless.
Showcasing some of the finest TV shows, films and documentaries across genres, Netflix has something to offer to viewers with varying preferences. Sharing marvellous stories in more than 30 languages across 190 countries, the streaming giant’s paid members can watch them anytime, anywhere and on any internet-connected screen, uninterrupted by advertisements.
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Additionally, the entertainment services provider keeps updating itself from time to time with new features to enhance user experience.
Here are the latest Netflix updates introduced in 2022
New ‘Continue Watching’ feature
While many among us can binge-watch an entire series in one sitting, others might choose to do so one episode a day. Thus, when a user leaves a TV show or movie mid-way only to watch it later, the ‘Continue Watching’ row gets updated accordingly. Additionally, Netflix would recommend films and dramas based on what you’ve watched previously.
In January, however, the streaming platform announced they were updating the app with a new feature that would simplify and improve the Netflix experience.
Now, a user can remove a TV show or movie from their ‘Continue Watching’ row on any device with just one click. All you need to do is open the film or series and select ‘Remove from Continue Watching’ from the list of options on the screen. You can also undo that action by clicking on the back arrow button that replaces the ‘Remove from Continue Watching’ option once selected.
Short video content type is ruling social media, be it on TikTok, Instagram or Facebook. Taking a cue from this, Netflix introduced a full-screen feed feature of hilarious teasers on mobile devices earlier in 2021.
Funny clips from new movies, series, sitcoms and stand-up acts were introduced so that users would be able to watch them immediately or save the suggestions on their watch list.
In February 2022, the entertainment service provider brought the feature to its TV app. While the feature can be accessed from the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen on smartphones, the opt-in feature on TV can be seen while scrolling down the rows. Users can toggle through the videos using the right arrow on the remote control.
Additionally, you can find the programme’s name, rating and click on ‘More info’, which will take you to the title’s landing page.
This beta feature was rolled out for English-speaking and adult markets initially. Whether it will be launched for global markets remains unknown.
Extra fee for non-household subscribers
In 2016, co-founder and CEO Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said at an event that subscribers sharing accounts is a “positive thing” as this exposure would show what the streaming platform has to offer. To boost its user base, Netflix tested a new opt-in feature for its Chile, Costa Rica and Peru markets in March 2022, before rolling it out to them in the following weeks.
Standard and premium users in these countries can share their accounts with two people they do not live with, such as friends and colleagues, at an extra cost of CLP 2,380 in Chile, USD 2.99 in Costa Rica and PEN 7.9 in Peru.
While the cost will be billed to the main account holder, this update entails each user having their own profile, personalised recommendations, login and password.
To make it more flexible and secure, individuals sharing their accounts can also transfer profile information to a new account or an extra-member account, along with viewing history, My List and personalised recommendations.
Interestingly, the streaming pioneer can use technologies such as IP address monitoring and device IDs to track users who are sharing accounts within the household or otherwise.
However, Netflix has not confirmed whether it will extend this functionality to its global markets.
Updating app settings through the app
Netflix announced a new feature for its Android users that would enable them to update their profile settings in the app itself. Earlier, a user had to log in through the web browser to make changes.
Additionally, subscribers can also use the app to change language preferences from 20+ options, put the next episode on autoplay and set their profile preferences.
The new update also hides the settings for adding or editing profiles on children’s profiles. This has been done to restrict their access to settings.
To access this feature, make sure your Android app is of the latest version.
Double Thumbs Up
With features like Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down that record the likes and dislikes of users, Netflix is focussing on personalising content suggestions for its subscribers.
Recently, the streaming giant rolled out an additional new feature wherein its users can share which movies or shows they have loved. Using this data, Netflix fine-tunes recommendations for its users.
For instance, if you enjoyed watching Bridgerton (2021- ) and you tap on Double Thumbs Up, then you will be suggested more series or films from Shondaland or those with the same cast.
This function can be found next to the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down buttons available on all devices worldwide.
Supporting Apple TvOS 15 player
According to reports, Netflix has updated its interface in the Apple TV app of the TvOS 15 player. Apple TV users were automatically upgraded with the launch of system update 2.1.23.
TV series and movie titles now appear in large font at the bottom left of the screen, just above the progress bar. All episode titles are seen in smaller font type above the name of the shows. Additionally, new information, such as runtime and subtitles, is also seen.
With this new interface, Netflix has discontinued the swipe down layout for functions, such as subtitles, language and sound output settings, but is now compatible with the Siri Remote, which was launched in 2021 along with Apple TV 4K.
(Hero and Featured Image Credit: Netflix)