A few years back, YouTube had the great idea of adding an “Autoplay” feature to the video streaming app. It was a nice idea (mainly for the business than actual users) that allowed them to compete with YouTube. YouTube autoplays videos similar enough to one another that you could potentially watch hours of related content without having to select it. You know this.
It works great for helping people plough through playlist of content they may otherwise miss in the overwhelming amount of videos on the channel but, truth be told, it’s more annoying than anything else. Netflix’s strange algorithms often failing to figure out similarities in your viewing. Hopefully learning from the mistakes of others, Netflix is reportedly looking into a similar feature, called “Shuffle Play”.
Doing the shuffle
Confirmed by TechCrunch, the intention behind “Shuffle Play” is similar to the one described above. Basically, helping people find new shows to watch without them freezing at the though of having so many potential options. Netflix will pull data from shows you’ve watched in the past or content you’ve saved to your Watch List and then take a stab at playing something it thinks you’ll enjoy.
The other thing it could do is to randomly play an episode of a show you’re currently watching, which is a cool idea until you’re really feeling some lighthearted animation while being thrown into the intense climax of an episode of Breaking Bad.
“Shuffle Play” hasn’t been implemented yet as Netflix is still testing… which is fair considering this could be a really bizarre and unwanted addition to the service. Currently only a select few have access to the feature and, if it’s popular enough, Netflix will probably roll it out to all subscribers. Thank you, Netflix. Perhaps the addition of a feature that randomly plays more content will alleviate the crippling indecision of simply browsing your catalogue.