Netflix users slam ‘obnoxious’ feature
IN A quest to provide the best user experience possible, Netflix likes to experiment on its users - but the company's latest effort has not gone down well.
The streaming giant will often trial new features on a small segment of its subscriber base to gauge the response, or push out different looking displays on the user interface to see what people are more inclined to engage with.
The company's latest idea gives viewers the chance to easily re-watch a crucial scene in a movie. It's kind of like instant replay during a sports broadcast but instead of watching someone make a game-changing play in slow motion, you're watching Jennifer Aniston deliver a bombshell plot twist again.
Reaction from Netflix subscribers began popping up on social media last week, and most didn't seem to appreciate the new test feature.
At important moments in the film, viewers were met with a small box in the bottom right of the screen which said "Watch That Scene Again".
Entertainment journalist Scott Renshaw chided Netflix, saying the company "should be ashamed" of the pop up prompt.
In a post on reddit discussing the scene replay feature, one user who saw it while watching the Netflix original Dumplin' complained that it diminished the story telling.
"Why does Netflix insist on devaluing film," they wrote. "This bothers me Netflix is such a giant anchor in the future of film culture."
Other reddit users replied with their location and the device they were using when they saw the replay feature, which appears to have just been tested on North American viewers.
"I can say it is irritating and devalues the content," said one.
"I hope this isn't a permanent thing because it's distracting and obnoxious. If I want to see something again, I'll rewind it myself...I don't need a prompt," said another.
One reddit user said "it doesn't bother me that much" but others complained that it disrupted the viewing experience.
"Really messed up my immersion. So far it's happened right after two intense scenes. Really took me out of the moment," they wrote.
Netflix confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the company was testing the feature but said it hadn't made any decision whether it would roll out the capability more widely.
"We're trying out a feature which gives Netflix members the ability to rewatch favourite scenes and memorable moments with the click of a button," a company spokesperson said.
"Right now we're just looking to learn from it and may or may not roll it out more broadly in the future."
If you're not a fan of change, or don't want to be used a guinea pig, Netflix let's you opt out of potential user testing. You can do that on your Netflix account here.