December 13, 2004

Netflix adds social networking

Originally posted by yatta from unmediated, reBlogged by ts

Tim Finin points to interesting news from Online DVD rental leader Netflix, which is looking for ways to keep ahead of its competitors.

In its latest move to fend off competitive threats, Netflix will let subscribers invite friends to peek at DVDs they’ve watched and read their opinions of the movies. If the invitation is accepted, the sender automatically gets reciprocal rights to read the friend’s lists and reviews.

Netflix, facing competition from Blockbuster Entertainment Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), began testing its networking system last week and plans to expand it to all 2.3 million subscribers next month.

The company has long encouraged subscribers to post DVD reviews openly but those capsules appear in a scattershot manner and generally don’t provide much information about the writer. Under the new system, people can focus on the picks and pans of those whose opinions they value.

Hacking NetFlix describes how the NetFlix Friends List Feature works.