Netflix appears to be taking note of Snapchat and Instagram’s Stories features with its new 30-second previews for mobile users.
Now, when iOS users open their Netflix app they’ll find a scrollable row of circular thumbnails for different Netflix shows which, when clicked, will start playing a trailer for that show.
These previews are a good way of making the Netflix mobile experience more sleek and user-friendly, since clicking on them requires you to have your in landscape orientation to watch, as starting up a full Netflix show would.
Once a video is playing you can swipe or tap through to get to the next one without having to return to the main screen.
Offering short clips of shows to entice viewers isn’t new for Netflix – previews have been a feature on its website and TV app for a while. But the form these trailers take has clearly been optimized for mobile, given that they bear a close resemblance to one of Instagram's most popular features.
In a press release Netflix says the aim with these trailers is to help people spend less time browsing and more time watching. “Years of testing has made it clear that video previews help our members browse less and discover new content more quickly,“ it says. “With the launch of mobile previews, we are bringing a video browse experience to your mobile phone in a fun and mobile-optimized way.”
With Netflix having announced that it’s planning to invest $8 billion in new shows we think this move has come just in time.
Netflix mobile previews will roll out on iOS from today (April 19) and Netflix has said that Android users will see it launched “soon”.