NETFLIX should let you share a highlights of shows with your friends

One of the biggest values Netflix offers relative to other video services is it’s top notch suggestion system. Netflix uses an algorithm bolstered by billions of user data points to provide content suggestions to their users. That notwithstanding, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has spent 23 minutes looking for a show instead of watching one. Netflix would probably even agree that the best suggestion is one that comes from a friend.

For me, a major deficiency of Netflix’s impressive platform is that currently does have any true mechanism for users to share a compelling scene from their favorite new show with their friends.

Wait, I thought Netflix didn’t want to do social media anymore

Netflix linked up with Facebook briefly before winding down the social features enabled by their partnership. They are also not allowing people to reconnect their Netflix accounts with Facebook. This seems like a pretty big general “no” to social media, but there might be more to it.

They have may have decided that the partnership wasn’t for them. Or, they may have realized that the tool simply wasn’t very good. I’m not sure what percentage of people want to share their Netflix activity with more 2 dozen people, but it probably isn’t very high.

I think there is more refined and intimate way to introduce Netflix content to people within your circle.

Ok, so what is the Netflix Highlight Reel?

Imagine that right under the “Continue Watching for [your name here]” there is a row of shows called “ Highlight Reel”. It’s filled scenes selected from people you hand selected.

How did the videos arrive in your Highlight Reel? Your friend emailed or texted you a Highlight Reel link. Maybe you clicked a link you saw it posted on Twitter by your favorite celebrity who has a new Netflix series. When you clicked it you saw the scene they wanted to share and you were given the option of following their Highlight Reel.

There are a number of benefits for both Netflix and Netflix users here:

  • Netflix can be shared content in a way in which it stays behind the paywall. It could be a powerful tool for media outlets (e.g., imagine a ‘Daredevil’ breakdown that includes a Highlight link that takes you right to the fight scene, or Aziz live tweeting a binge watching of ‘Master of None’ with Highlight links)
  • Personal recommendations are more likely to spur current users to try new content… it’s like having user-created commercials, which is marketer nirvana
  • People without Netflix will feel compelled to initiate a free trial
  • Users cool have a uniquely detailed record of their favorite Netflix scenes, which can be browsed later when trying to find favorite episodes

How would one make a Netflix Highlight Reel Video?

You would select the indicate the beginning and end of the Highlight either by indicating the times on the progress bar in the video player or by typing the times in a form. Then, Highlight would be automatically be given a title, and users will have the option of the giving the highlight a nickname. Finally, the user shares the highlight via text or email

Closing thoughts

Hopefully Netflix takes a look at something like this a considers implementing a refined version. I think there are great possibilities here for expanding on the social aspect of Netflix viewing which is already very important