Netflix Finally Pals Up Facebook in the States
Video service enables social sharing after Congress updated privacy law
By Mike Farrell, Multichannel News -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/13/2013 11:16:41 AM
In 2011, Netflix introduced a Facebook feature to let subscribers share which videos they've recently watched or are currently watching. However, it was available only outside the U.S., because of the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988, which prohibits video-rental services from disclosing people's viewing history. Netflix had actively lobbied to have the law changed to let users opt to share that info.
Beginning Wednesday, Netflix streaming members in the U.S. can link their accounts with Facebook, which will let them see what other friends who have Netflix have watched as well as their favorite selections. All of Netflix's more than 27 million U.S. members will have access to the social features by the end of this week, the company said.
Netflix's goal: to drive up views -- and the perceived value of the service -- by surfacing popular titles from a customer's social network. According to the company, members currently watch more than 1 billion hours of streaming video per month.
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