Netflix, the new Shuffle feature arrives: what it’s for

Netflix is ready to launch a new feature that lets the app choose which movie or TV series to watch. Here's how it works

Probably not long before the "Shuffle" feature arrives, even on Netflix: the first sightings on apps for Samsung smart TVs and Amazon Fire have already been reported in the U.S.

So soon, the feature could arrive on all other apps and even in other countries around the world. There are many who hope so, perhaps even Netflix itself since this feature could help users overcome the so-called "Netflix Decision Paralysis Syndrome" (NDPS). The shuffle function, as the name itself says, is used to jump from the content we're watching to another, randomly chosen by the system. For certain types of content it can be useful, but for others it doesn't make much sense. In any case, it's one more feature available to the Netflix subscriber, who will have a button to use it both under the content he's watching and in the app's menu.

What's the point of shuffle on Netflix

The usefulness of a feature like shuffle, which actually chooses instead of the user which is the next content to watch, can have different effects depending on the content offered. As this function is still in the testing phase, we don't know if the choice of the new content will be absolutely random or filtered by some variable: the user's tastes, the same movie genre, an episode of the same series we are already watching, a content we have already started and then abandoned. In the case of linear TV series, in which each episode is preparatory to the next, running the shuffle in a completely random way doesn't make sense: if you haven't seen the previous episodes, you won't understand anything of the proposed content. In the case of movies, instead, it can make sense to change genre and discover new titles, directors and actors we don't know.

What is Netflix Decision Paralysis Syndrome

Already several years ago, not long after the arrival of Netflix, the expression "Netflix Decision Paralysis Syndrome" was coined. Do you know when the user scrolls through the list of content available on Netflix for several minutes, without ever deciding what to watch, and maybe finally gets bored and closes the app? Now that's NDPS. Which is bad for both the user and Netflix, because if the user decided right away what to watch their Netflix usage would increase. The shuffle feature, in this respect, could help: don't know what to watch? Netflix decides it.