Monday, June 30, 2008

Profiles feature NOT going away

For users of Profiles, I have good news to report: we will keep the feature with no plans to discontinue it.

We were persuaded by the well-reasoned, sincere responses of loyal members who very much value this feature. As someone who enjoys helping his four-year-old daughter manage her one-DVD-at-a-time, G-rated sub-account, I identified with these thoughtful pleas to maintain Profiles.

Because of an ongoing desire to make our website easier to use, we believed taking a feature away that is only used by a very small minority would help us improve the site for everyone. Listening to our members, we realized that users of this feature often describe it as an essential part of their Netflix experience. Simplicity is only one virtue and it can certainly be outweighed by utility.

As for improving Profiles, there are no definite plans in place yet, but, like everything at Netflix, we seek to make it better and we are open to suggestions. Non-users of the feature and new members will be able to access Profiles in 2-3 weeks. Existing users will be able to continue their use, uninterrupted.

We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused.

Enjoy.

-Todd

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Profiles feature going away

As a Netflix product manager I'm tasked with the wonderful job of helping members find movies they'll love. But today my job is more challenging as we've decided to terminate the profiles feature on September 1. Please know that the motivation is solely driven by keeping our service as simple and as easy to use as possible. Too many members found the feature difficult to understand and cumbersome, having to consistently log in and out of the website.

Continuing to maintain the profiles feature for the passionate few who use it (including myself) distracts us from the mission of presenting to all our members the easiest way to find the best titles for them from the 100k plus on DVD and the 10k plus available instantly.

We will do our best to find better ways for families to share accounts than the existing profiles feature and will continue to invest in improving the website experience in many different ways.

- Todd