Netflix is introducing video previews to its mobile app from today, giving users a quick way of assessing whether a movie or TV show will be to their liking.
The video-streaming giant quietly announced the feature at an event last month, but it’s rolling out from today, first for iOS users and “soon” on Android.
Under a new “preview” banner on the home screen, you’ll now see little circular icons designed to entice you to check out a title you’ve perhaps not watched yet. As with other content recommendation features on Netflix, each user will be presented with different previews depending on their viewing history.
According to Netflix, the previews are presented in a slideshow format, with each one lasting around 30 seconds. And they’re optimized for vertical viewing, meaning you don’t have to flip your phone to landscape to watch.
This launch comes more than a year after Netflix brought a similar feature to its TV app and serves as another push to increase stickiness and keep viewers glued to their screens for longer.
“Last year, we introduced video previews to the TV experience, which brought dynamic and engaging video to the TV interface,” noted Netflix’s director of product innovation, Cameron Johnson, in a blog post. “Years of testing has made it clear that video previews help our members browse less and discover new content more quickly. With the launch of mobile previews, we are bringing a video browse experience to your mobile phone in a fun and mobile-optimized way.”
Netflix reported strong Q1 earnings earlier this week, smashing both revenue and new subscriber estimates. The Los Gatos-based company added 7.4 million new subscribers in the first quarter, up 50 percent year-on-year, while revenue edged past $3.7 billion — a 40 percent increase on the same period last year.