Thursday, May 31, 2007

Your Suggestions

Let's create a list of features -- your "wish" list -- and we will keep re-editing this list as new ideas surface. Some of this info repeats the earlier listing, but this entry will be the edited and re-edited as the definitive input from your comments. (And soon -- but not yet -- we're all going to work together to put these in some kind of priority order.) Hang on:

1) Confused by the random avatar.
2) Wish you could select from a set of prebuilt avatars instead of uploading.
3) Prevent gaming the system by multiple self-voting (i.e. Helpful) in Reviewer pages;
4) Worried these new features will slow down the site experience
5) Sort Movie Reviews by Similarity % (or by date, or by pretty much anything)
6) Be able to find people with high similarity (e.g. the top 5 people similar to me), and hang onto people you've found.
7) Need to edit/delete reviews beyond first page;
8) Email notifications of major changes at the website
9) Able to add movies to Custom Lists directly from the movie page
10) Why truncate nicknames? Why 13 characters?
11) Miss the personal description (bio) part of Profiles
12) Changing the order of movies in Custom Lists (*isn't working)
13) Custom Lists problems adding some titles (ie. need a "MORE" button if the title you want doesn't come up first)
14) Message boards on various movie topics so folks w/o Friends can still chat etc.

1) Average ratings for you and each of your Friends;
2) Loved by your Friends and Recommended for you suggestions;
3) An Overview page for each Friend, not just ratings or queue;
4) Edit/Delete Movie Notes with your Friends
5) Disable/control email notices about Movie Notes being created
6) Film level privacy control -- to hide certain movies from Friends or others
7) Persistent notes (a la the old MiniReviews) such that new Friends can see old notes.
8) Notebook organization a bit wonky, and should include more info from the Friends Activity (ie ratings, etc that are mentioned in F.A.) and ability to sort or view only received notes.
9) Options for faster loading of Friends detail pages (ie Queue, Ratings)
10) Hide real name (and location) from Friends. In other words, allow "anonymous" Friends.
11) Bring back the "Purple Dude" icon

1) Confusing UI with the tabs, subtabs, side nav
2) Visual (spacing) confusion with the wider pages and the new sidebar
3) Better info/filmography (more complete) on actor/director pages

You may notice i'm not listing "non-community" oriented features, but trust that the appropriate people are seeing your ideas, even if they don't get addressed here directly.

We here at Netflix think about these things every day, all day. I can see that some of you do too. I'm somewhat reminded of the adage "many hands make light work" which does seem to apply to online communities. (I wish I could invite everyone over to help me with my yardwork.)You guys are great help. Thank you.


  1. Wow, looks like you guys are really listening. You hit almost all of our top requests in your posting. These are our top wishes right now:

    1. More cast/crew information for each movie -- at least the screenwriter of the movie, if not the entire cast & crew. We love watching movies that are written by the same screenwriter! Blockbuster has much more extensive cast/crew information than Netflix, but if you could rival IMDB's information, that would be awesome too.

    2. Friends feature: Edit/Delete notes to friends.

    3. Friends feature: The friends feature currently seems to be broken. If we rate a movie and then IMMEDIATELY leave a note about that movie for our friends, they will receive the email notification with the NOTE attached, but the email that they receive shows that we have NOT rated the movie with any stars yet. But if they click on the link to go to the website, they will see our star rating there. These email notifications to our friends have to show the star rating!

    4. Friends feature: It's very confusing whether NEW friends will see our OLD notes or not, since we have to CHECK OFF the friends that we are leaving notes for. How will my brand new friends see all 300 notes that I've already left for previous friends? I don't want to have to go through and re-send every single movie note all over again.

    5. Friends feature: We need to receive email notifications when our friends "reply" to our existing notes by adding their own note after we've already left a note. We only get email notifications when they write a BRAND NEW note for a movie that we haven't already left a note for. Without email notification, we miss most of the notes that our friends leave for us.

    6. Friends feature: We need the ability to see more activity on what our friends are doing... what did they recently rate, for example.

    7. We would like completely different type of note field in the queue -- a quick way for us to remind ourselves why we added a movie to our queue. This note should show up in the queue, so as we scroll through the queue we can remember why certain movies are there.

    8. Please process & ship out movies to us on Saturdays like Blockbuster does.

    Thank you!

  2. This site is already great, I'm going to be visiting frequently. Thanks for making a commitment to customer service. My only fear is that this blog may become a dumping ground for user suggestions that just get ignored, but based on what I've seen already, it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Thanks again for listening - this is why I'm a Netflix user as opposed to Blockbuster!

  3. 3) Prevent gaming the system by multiple self-voting (i.e. Helpful) in Reviewer pages;

  4. I like almost everything about the features on the site now, but I *hate*, Hate, HATE the pop-up window that tried to recommend another movie to me when I've just added one to my queue. Please give us a way to make it go away forever.

  5. Is there a way to filter my notebook to only show the messages to me? I already know what I've sent and I just want to see what other have sent to me.

  6. I would like to be able to hide my real name from my Netflix Friends.

  7. It would be nice if we could choose the video quality for the movies on Instant viewing instead of just choosing based on connection.

    I know it's all based to start watching a movie instantly but, I don't mind letting my computer sit for a while loading the entire movie and woulnd't mind it taking longer if I chose the "Best" video quality.

  8. I just remembered my favorite thing about the old Friends program: the little purple icon!

    I LOVED being able to see which movies my Friends had seen while I was surfing without having to open up the movie page to find out. I would often spend more time clicking through movies than I do now just to see which Friends had seen a certain movie and what they thought of it

    The little purple icon was great and very useful.

  9. DVD Releasing This Week Page:
    Why is this page a list? I'd like to see the cover of the DVD's on this page just like all the other pages.

    Also an "in theaters now" section would be great too so you can see what you want might want to add to your saved queue.


  10. How about a message board feature for people who don't have any "friends" but want to discuss w/ other Netflix users?

  11. With the new Friend section upgrades it appears that we can no longer view "All Friends" Ratings. I found that feature useful since I would choose those movies which a majority of my Friends have seen and enjoyed to add to my queue.

  12. Here's a killer feature idea that I had. I have several friends and co-workers that are also Netflix subscribers, and occasionally we'll hand a disc off between ourselves if we know the other person wants to see it too.

    Netflix could save themselves some shipping by making this feature official, and allowing it to free up a movie slot for the original recipient. It'd work like this:

    1. I receive an HD-DVD movie that is somewhat hard to get, because all mainstream HD-DVD discs are these days. I watch it, and know that my co-worker wants to see it too.

    2. After talking to him, I log onto the site and say that I wish to assign this movie to one of my Friends. I hand him the disc and return envelope. Netflix sends him an automated e-mail asking if he's received the disc from me, and telling him he's now responsible for it if he confirms that he has it, and that it's counted against his total discs out, etc.

    3. Netflix sends me the next disc in my queue.

    4. My coworker returns the disc whenever he watches it, so that I'm not pestering him to hurry up and return it, because he's holding up my next movie.

    It's a win-win-win, I get my next movie faster, my friend gets a movie he wants to see faster, and Netflix saves sending the disc through the mail twice!

    If the person who agrees to take responsibility for the disc is already at their max number of titles out, they just won't receive any more titles until they come back under their number of movie slots. You'd probably want to limit their temporary overage to 1-2 discs pers account, to prevent possible abuse.

    For bonus points, Netflix could allow you to mark which of your friends were "local" enough for you to hand discs to, and it'd display in your queue which of your friends also had the same disc in their queue, giving you a hint as to which person you can offer it too.

  13. If your're keeping some type of running count, I'd like add my request for:

    1.) Ability to edit/delete notes in notebook

    2.) Ability for new friends to see existing notes.

    3.) Greater searching ability. (i.e. "show me all action movies rated 4 stars or higher that released between 1980 and 1990" or similar searches)


  14. Yes, the purple friend icon!! I loved that icon because it let me know that one of my friends had something to say about that movie -- or at least that they had rented it. Please bring purple guy back!

  15. It's a non-community suggestion, but where else could I make it, know what I'm saying?

    A friend of mine and I were talking about how we add movies to our queues. For instance, I saw a documentary about Kirk Douglas and they talked about his films. So, as they listed them, I added them to my queue. Now I have a huge section of just Kirk Douglas movies in a row. I'll get tired of watching 11 Kirk Douglas movies in a row no matter how good they are.

    We'd like to see a button that will randomize your queue for you. As an adjunct to that, we'd also like to be able to link different choices. Say, for instance, I wanted to make sure that I got Before Sunrise and Before Sunset together. I could link them and they'd stay linked even after the queue was randomized. Sure, it might hinder when I actually get the linked discs based on availability and how many films I have out or going out, but it preserves my choice of how I want to watch the films.

  16. This blog is an awesome idea. Thanks for taking the time to solicit and read our feedback! I'd like to make the following suggestions about the Friends feature:

    1) Ability to leave a note for all friends (including future friends that I might add). As it stands right now, I have no idea if new friends can see notes I've already left or not. I don't leave "notes" to people, I leave general comments about specific movies, so I'd like anyone who is associated with me to be able to read them.

    2) Ability to leave a note on a movie that is independent of other notes my friends may have already left. I don't want my note to be considered a reply just because someone else left a note first. I just want to leave a comment, not start a conversation.

    3) Like other posters have already stated, I also miss the little purple icon in the pop-up dialogs. It was incredibly useful!

  17. Please develop Watch Now for OSX!

  18. Nicknames are NOT posting!

    Edit/delete ALL reviews.

    Operate on Saturdays!

    Stop Throttling!!!

  19. I would like some privacy settings on the Friends list to remove certain movies. There are certain movies that you don't want your "real life" friends, coworkers, etc., to know about.

  20. Wow, you guys ARE listening. Thank you. My 3 feedback suggestions remain:

    first, respect the 800x600 pixel-wide space to keep congruent with the rest of the site

    second, don't truncate nicknames (if there's room for 11 characters plus " ... " then there should be room for all 16 characters)

    and third, bring back the personal description (bios) to profiles

  21. I would like to suggest that you remove the "Member since..." info from profiles. It's useless, as mine currently shows the month that I reactivated my account (I had placed my account on hold - or whatever you call that) during an especially hectic time, and reactivated it one month later. For anyone who cares how long a reviewer has been a member, the information is very misleading. As for me personally, I don't think it's anyone's business how long I've been a member.

  22. here's a suggestion... instead of actually creating features on the website for us to use, why don't you create a blog and present every single possible feature and we can discuss and debate them forever. that is a great use of your time and expertise.

  23. I would like Firefox and Linux support for the "Watch Now" feature.

  24. 1) Saturday returns and deliveries would be great.

    2) Please stop counting special features discs as a separate rental.

  25. 2) Wish you could select from a set of prebuilt avatars instead of uploading.

    Hmmm... I sure hope you won't get rid of letting us upload our own! Why would people not want that ability?

    Also, for years now I've been hoping Netflix would add the ability to sort movies by release date. When I want to see for example, what new German movies are out there, I have no way of doing this, I have to look through all of them and guess at what's recent.

    I would also really love it if Israeli movies could get their own section rather than being lumped together with all Middle Eastern films. You guys don't have just an Asian section, you've got it broken down into Hong Kong, Japanese, Korean, etc... so please do this for Israel and the Middle East as well. It would make it a lot easier for us when trying to find films in Hebrew.

  26. Mac and Firefox capability really seems the hot-topic right now for the "Watch Now" feature. I personally use a Mac and wish I could use the "Watch Now" feeature.

  27. I know this might be a little off topic, but I think Netflix should do what Blockbuster does. They should not only sell used DVDs but new ones too!

  28. Hi guys first time poster, long time Netflix user. I do have a few minor suggestions:

    1. I'm an avid film rater. I make a habit of rating every film i see. However, I'm often torn between giving whole stars to a film. The rating system would be much improved if we could give half stars. I'm not an expert but couldn't that help in the recommendation system?

    2. This is just a general complaint and I have gotten a response from customer service. Please make Watch it Now available for Mac! This is the most persisting complaint amongst my friend's and other netflix users.

    3. Can you bring back the little purple icon? That was very helpful to see what your friends have watched.

    Thank You For Listening and Keep Up The Great Work

  29. Looks like I'm late to the party, but I thought I'd throw my two cents in on the off-chance that someone is still reading this post. I'd love to be able to hide my real name and location from my friends. I'm a member of a message board that's mostly about tv shows, but we talk about movies all the time. There are a few of us who trust each other enough to share our real information, but we'd love to invite other users to be our friends, too, but we really don't want our real names/locations out there for the world to see, you know? Two members were debating becoming members of either Netflix or Blockbuster; they compared the two and chose BB (that return to the store feature is awesome). The one reason they would have chosen Netflix over BB was if they could have become friends with other users anonymously.

  30. michael, from netflixJune 24, 2007 at 1:56 PM

    We're still reading comments on old posts. This is a fine suggestion and we'll add it to the list of good suggestions.

    And for what it's worth -- we read ALL OF THESE, whether we reply or not. Thanks for posting.

  31. I really like the new better descriptions online.

    one suggestion I would make is to have on the sleeve whether the DVD is 4:3 or widescreen.

    also I know this isn't the place to add this, but the Inventory group has been ignoring me for months now and I even wrote a letter to Drew Hastings about this - one of my all time favorite goofy 50's SciFi movies, Monolith Monsters, has been available on DVD since January 2007 and it's not in the inventory yet. Next week, the Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is being released and it another a bunch of other 50's movies are already on the list.

    I need some help getting Monolith Monsters on Netflix!!

  32. Here are some things that I'd like to see:

    1. When I look at a member's list, I wish it was in order according to my predicted rating. I really used this feature because I could pull up a list of someone's favorites and see which one's Netflix predicted I would like.

    2. I wish that as part of my profile I could tag myself as "Open to Invitations from New Friends." What if we like to have lots of friends and want to build our own community? As it stands right now, we can't really do that unless we know them outside of Netflix and have their e-mail addresses.

    3. Why don't we get a similarity for everyone? I even have two friends whose similarity ratings doesn't show up on my friends page.

    4. I miss users being able to write a profile that appears on their ratings and lists page.

    Finally, lots of posters seem to want a return to the summary page for each friend. But please keep the current selections (Most Loved, Most Hated, Unique Favorites, etc.) drop-down as part of the friends features.

  33. I would also like the ability to sort/reorganize the queue by genre, subgenre, etc.

  34. I love Netflix - great service! My suggestions in order of importance:

    1) Let us rate movies with 1/2 stars - whole stars doesn't feel granular enough.

    2) I have multiple queues (one for my wife & one for me). Let me have the option of using her profile address (or even just adding an email address since profile names don't have to be email addresses) for her queue, so she can get the shipping/received notifications for her queue.

    3) Saturday processing - might be nice since you can't offer the edge Blockbuster has in being able to walk into a store to exchange a movie over the weekend.

    4) A little optional privacy in the friends feature - let us hide movies we're embarrassed to let even our friends know we saw or want to see. :) Also, being able to hide our real name from specific friends (for those that we may not know personally).

  35. 1. Here's one more vote for half stars on movie ratings. There is a huge difference between a 2 star and 3 star movie, or a 4 or 5 star. I'd like the option to be more specific.

    2. Regarding Friends, I wish that I could reorder the way friends are listed on the page, and I wish I didn't have to expand the friends lower down on the list each time. To clarify what I'm getting at: I have one friend with about 80% similarity to me so that guy is at the top of my friends page with his section always expanded... but I really don't care about that guy too much. My boyfriend on the other hand has only a 58% similarity to me, so he is down towards the bottom of my list, with his section always closed until I click to expand it. It's his info I am much more interested in seeing... but I can't just go to friends and see it, I need to first scroll down past all my other friends, then click to make his section visible. So, it would be great to able to move our friends around in whatever order we want, and it would be great to not have to re-open their section each time. I'd be much happier with all of my friends viewable... not sure what purpose it serves to have some friends "closed" and others expanded... why can't I just view them all in one fell swoop? Thanks!

  36. I agree with the anon here, it would be great to be able to re-order my friends.

    to anon -- I collapse all the top friends (who i don't care about much) and open the lower ones -- and it seems to remember this setting. I'd rather re-order, but it works fine.

  37. I would like to see the release date on my queue (possibly next to the rating column) so I can resort easily when I want to make sure newer releases are on top.

  38. I didn't know you guys had a blog until today. Great move!

    Just had a quick suggestion regarding the 'Now You can Drag and Drop' Pop Up message in the Queue. While that is an awesome feature, it would be great if you could add a check box for 'Do not show this message again'. It's really uncomfy to see it pop up all time.

    My apologies if this is not the right place to post this comment. I did a quick search and couldn't find any posts on this drag and drop feature.


  39. Hello, I just discovered this blog while poking around the Netflix site.

    My suggestions:

    - Yes, I agree... please add half-star ratings. I have watched many DVDs that I would have rated between two and three stars.

    - Add a link to for additional information. I love the Trivia notes on IMDB.

    - Add a link to to be able to quickly buy a copy of something I really enjoyed and wish to add to my collection (actually this is an old feature I remember from back when I joined in 2001).

    - Add a button to send an e-mail if a particular DVD goes on sale as a used Netflix DVD.

    - Add a Comments box to the Return Damaged DVD page. Sometimes a brand-new DVD just won't play correctly -- like the recent Doctor Who Season Two disc -- and adding a comment like which brand DVD player was used, etc. might prove to be useful information.

    - I rate every DVD I rent to help me keep track of which ones I've seen. It would be useful to be able to rate each separate disc in a series set to help track which disc I rented last in a long series.

    - Add more special editions (Director's Cut, Extended Version, Unrated Version, etc.) of movies when they are released.


  40. This is probably a non-community suggestion, but I'd really like to have a larger queue. 500 movies just isn't enough. I have a list of about 1800 films I want in my queue and that doesn't even include all the TV and anime series. I know having a larger queue means a longer load time for the page, but how about having multiple pages for the queue with a couple hundred titles on each page?

  41. I'd like to add to the non-community suggestions, but I'm not sure where to send that so I'm posting it here in the hopes that it's forwarded to the appropriate department.

    My wish would be that after I do a search for movies or tv shows, that I would be able to sort them in date order.

  42. To continue with "non-community" suggestions (yeah, where is the appropriate place to post?):

    I'd like to see a section that lists a movie's sequels.

    I would LOVE to have a "Turn Off TV Shows" toggle button when I browse by genre. The best example is Sci-Fi/Time Travel. Now I enjoy Dr Who as much as the next sci-fi fan, but when I'm looking for a movie and 80% of listings on each page are for individual episodes of one TV show, that becomes frustrating.

  43. Can someone explain the Netflix Top 100? How are movies like Click and The Devil Wears Prada among the top 15? Is this based on number of rentals? How often is this list updated? Some of these movies are on network television, for crying out loud.

  44. I appreciate the focus you are putting on learning about movies from other Netflix users, but I think with the depth and breadth of available titles, you may also want to provide some more directed features or other "editorial" content on the site.

    Some examples would be like in the iTunes music store, where they have "celebrity playlists" or "essentials" that package a variety of titles in a new way. There are obviously plenty of other ways to keep up with movie or DVD news on the web, but this would be a way for Netflix to spotlight certain movies or genres that may not be as familiar to most users. Most physical video stores have a spot for "Staff Favorites" or something, so this could be the Netflix version. Predictions based on what I've liked in the past are fine, but I also like some promptings to try something different occasionally, ya know?

    Thanks -

  45. I wouldn’t mind waiting a bit for better quality video to buffer either. Also, maybe it’s just the films I’ve viewed so far, or some setting I haven’t found yet, but sound is a problem for me. I’ve had to crank up the volume all the way each time and it’s still sometimes hard to hear.

    And yeah, thanks for reminding me, I miss the little purple friends icon too.

    The “Now Showing in Theaters” page is an excellent suggestion.

    I’m not sure I’d ever want to randomize my queue with one click, if implemented could you add an “are you sure” pop up to keep us from messing up our already perfectly organized queue? The linking idea is wonderful and one I’m sure I would use all the time if implemented. That would be fantastic.

    Bartap74 has a point on the bonus disc issue. I’m sure you have a vast supply of pristine never used bonus discs sitting around all the time. It would be a very generous thing if those discs didn’t count against us for few of us who bother with them. Couldn’t you even put them in the same envelope together? Wouldn’t that save a bit on postage? I know I would appreciate it.

    Advance searches, including release date, country of origin, language, format etc, would be very helpful.

    I would love to buy new movies from Netflix, especially if the prices are competitive. Why not? You already have my billing info and I know you can provide good service. I’d love to buy more used movies too…

    How about it if you give us the ability to sign up for e-mail notification as soon as a specific used film becomes available for purchase. I got Kill Bill from you guys but I really wanted Kill Bill 2 too. I haven’t seen it available. I know I’m missing opportunities to buy used movies that I would like. The e-mails you send me are too generalized and notify me of nothing I’m really interested in owning.

    In fact, if you added an additional rating to the stars, an “I’d buy this” button. It could give you a clue about what movies we would like to buy out-right, as well as provide for interesting reviews. How many 5 star movies would we then see with a low percentages of people willing to own it. How many 2 star movies would have potential purchase numbers through-the-roof?

    I have a problem with the ‘helpful’ ‘not helpful’ review rating system. Practicly no one is using this system as you intened. They are not rating reviews they disagree with as helpful even if they are. Even if they understood your intention, I don’t think anyone wants to rate reviews in this way. I know I don’t. I would much rather have a five position scale, strongly agree/disagree, somewhat agree/disagree, and neutral in the middle. How you would then best display the results so they make sense I have no idea, but that is how I would prefer to vote.

    Saturday shipping would be great… but frankly Blockbuster has no edge as far as I’m concerned. I hate their stores, the local one is small and filthy and never has anything worth watching in stock anyway. Talk about a waste of time. If I haven’t felt the overpowering need to rush to the theatre for a movie I’m certainly not expecting an overpowering need to rush to the video store the first week something is released. I can relax with Netflix.

    Greg has a point about celebrity and staff movie pics. It might be nice to see something of that nature in the future.

  46. Easily added feature: shuffle queue button.

    I use this all the time on my music playlists. All of a sudden I notice that I've been dragging and dropping and moving and organizing....and everything has become the same. Or, in the case of netflix, my queue has gotten super huge and I have a bunch of dramatic movies that, while I want to see, I don't want to see now. It would be nice if I could hit the shuffle button and just have netflix randomize my queue :)

  47. I'm a bit late to this party, I know, but to second what someone above said, I'd love the "See All Friends Ratings" option brought back. I used this a lot as well.

    Even clicking on specific movies and shows doesn't show all of them but seems to cut off at a default ten so all I see are the people who "Loved it" mostly.