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While Netflix is a lot of things well, one of them certainly isn’t managing multiple people on a single streaming account. Fortunately, the company is working on a personalized profiles feature that will seemingly make using Netflix with a four-person family much easier.
Right now, if multiple people use the same Netflix account, it messes up the accounts recommendation engine — effectively rendering it useless. For example, if you primarily watch sci-fi TV shows, you could end up seeing recommendations for your wife’s romantic period dramas, or cartoons that are similar to your kid’s favorite children’s movies.
Additionally, I’d imagine managing a queue of videos for multiple people under a single account would prove irritating — especially if anyone plans to watch the same videos. (That means losing your auto-saved place when you stop watching videos, and making video progress bars ineffective).
Gigaom managed to check out the experimental new feature at the 2013 CES, but estimates that it could take up to six months or more before we start to see the feature roll out to the public. But regardless of how long it takes, this could be a huge hit with families or subscribers who constantly have their Netflix account hijacked by girlfriends, roommates, or siblings.
The personalized profiles feature fixes the aforementioned problems by separating viewing activity for each person using the account. Each person also gets to choose a custom avatar for their profile, and label it accordingly (Dad, Mom, Brother, etc.). Gigaom notes that any profiles for children ages 12 and under will automatically fall under Netflix’s “Just for Kids” user interface.
Photo via Gigaom