Netflix adds the personal touch, offers profiles to all

Netflix adds the personal touch, offers profiles to all
Netflix gets personal

Netflix Profiles have finally gone live on the service, with up to five allowed in each household.

Profiles has been one of the most-requested features for the streaming service for some time now - TechRadar exclusively revealed back in 2012 that Netflix was looking into offering multiple accounts.

Netflix is hoping that by offering up individual accounts it will mean that its recommendations will be, well, more personal.

The new feature will be added to the service for no additional cost and users will be able to choose their own avatars to give their profiles the personal touch.

Given that this feature has been a long time coming, TechRadar asked Eddy Wu, director of product innovation, why the wait?

He explained: "We have acknowledged [the profile] problem for some time but wanted to get it right. We worked on the profiles in-house for nine months, then launched it on to a public test."

Testing times

To make sure that the version of profiles that's being released was as good as it could be, Wu explained that myriad versions of the feature were built and offered to the public as testers.

"We built five versions of profiles, blindly allocated them to customers and then sat back and saw the results come in. We wanted to see whether they would use the features we were offering."

Although Netflix profiles are rolling out today – Wii users will have to wait a few months and there's no word on Android unfortunately – it may take up to two weeks for everyone to get them.

Once they arrive, you will be able allocate a Facebook account to each one, something Wu hopes will bolster Netflix's social side.

"Social definitely has a role to play with our recommendation systems," notes Wu.

"Netflix by itself is already powerful as we have strong recommendations. But social gives us an extra flavour as we see that individuals see what people have been watching, which makes it more of a communal experience."

As for Netflix Kids, TechRadar has been assured that this won't disappearing even though children can also have profiles.

"Having profiles will make Netflix Kids easier to use," said Wu. "We need kids to have a safe place on Netflix and profiles will help us achieve this."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.