Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hiding Movies

I'm with y'all. I watch a lot of movies, and I love the Friends features, but I'll admit that there are titles i watch that i'm -- how you say -- less than thrilled to announce are in my Queue. At Netflix we try to have this deep honesty policy: we generally say whatever we're thinking to whoever needs to hear it. And this pervasive attitude has crept into Friends, such that the thinking was "if you're REALLY friends, then you should be okay showing them what you're really watching." But you (and I) know this is lousy. I'm happy to reveal pretty much anything about myself, but there is a level of scrutiny that makes even an open guy like me pretty uncomfortable. Once in awhile you just need to hide a movie from your friends, or parents...

Savvy insiders will know that there is a workaround: you can always create a sub-account (a second Queue) that has your embarrassing, raunchy, edgy, private titles. You wouldn't make this profile public, it wouldn't write reviews (not under your name, at least), and it wouldn't have Friends. Honestly, this isn't a bad solution. But it takes more work on your part than is ideal.

We're considering the best way to allow certain titles to be hidden. You guys are pretty sharp, and probably would be happy with a checkbox somewhere that says "hide this movie from my Friends" or the like. But we must think of the others, the folks who find every additional option on screen a distraction, or worse, confusing. So where would you say is the best place to put such a checkbox option. The Queue is out. It's not worth the complexity of another column for the one title you want to hide once every few months. It could be in the Friends area, but where? I'm afraid if we put in in a column along with Movies You've Rated, no one will ever find it. So if you want to help get this feature implemented, i'd like some good thinking about the best way to implement. Ideas?