Netflix is testing ways to make finding new movies and TV shows to watch more fun, using its mobile app

Eric Liebowitz/NetflixNetflix’s ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.’
  • Netflix is testing a new feed of videos and other content on its mobile app that resembles feeds on social networks like Instagram.
  • It could be a new – and more fun – way for people to discover new movies and TV shows to watch on the service.
  • The feed includes extra content from TV shows and movies on Netflix, which users can share or use to add the titles to their Netflix lists and alerts.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The more TV shows and movies that hit Netflix, the harder it becomes for people to sort through all of the content on the service to find something to watch.

Netflix’s algorithms, which recommend titles based on your own viewing habits and the tastes of other viewers like you, are the streaming giant’s main mechanism for helping users find new shows and movies that may interest them.

But Netflix is experimenting with other ways that make it more fun to find programming to watch, too.

The company is testing a vertical feed in its mobile app that aggregates trailers, video clips, and images from the Netflix catalogue, which users can share through third-party apps, or use to add the titles to their Netflix lists and alerts, as Variety first reported. Users can scroll through the feed vertically, similar to feeds on Instagram and other social networks.

Screenshot/NetflixA test feed on the Netflix mobile app.

The feature is appearing under a tab, called “Extras,” for some test users. It was named, “Updates,” in the version of the test that Business Insider saw.

“We are testing a feed of video extras in our mobile app to help fans connect more deeply with the titles they love and discover new ones to watch,” a spokesperson for Netflix told Business Insider in an email. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, and may not become permanent.”

It’s easy to see the appeal of using an Instagram-like feed to help users discover content. People already spend time each day scrolling idly through social media on their phones. What if they could do the same with content from Netflix shows and movies, and easily save those titles to their watch lists, set an alerts for them, or share them with friends? When they’re ready to watch, they already know what to look for.

Screenshot/NetflixA test feed on the Netflix mobile app.

While perusing the test feed on Wednesday afternoon, Business Insider saw a “Stranger Things” illustration by an Italian cartoonist; a prompt to watch “The Office” that read, “Find you someone who likes at you the way Stanley looks at Pretzel Day ????????;” and video clips from Netflix originals like “Dead to Me,” “Jessica Jones,” and the upcoming movie “Murder Mystery,” which auto-played without the sound on as we scrolled.

Netflix feed dead to meScreenshot/NetflixA test feed on the Netflix mobile app.

Netflix has been exploring other ways to make it easier to find content on its platform recently, as well.

In May, it started testing a weekly list of the 10 most-watched titles on Netflix on its platform in the UK. And, last year, it rolled out vertical video trailers, in the style of Snapchat, on its mobile app.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.