Thursday Netflix announced that it is rolling out the long-awaited user profiles, that allow multiple members of the same household to create personalized accounts to get personalized recommendations based on their individual preferences, rather than a hybrid of the entire household.
When new users sign up, they will be prompted to create a user profile for everyone who plans on using that Netflix account. That user will be asked to create a taste profile based on what they prefer. Each Netflix account can accommodate up to five user profiles.
Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt says the new profiles will be created as blank slates, wiping out any previous data-driven recommendations until it learns what a user likes. For long-time Netflix users this might seem like starting from square one, but Hunt explains that recommendations are heavily weighted toward recent activity. It won’t take long before user suggestions become relevant.
Read related content:
The change will begin to roll out today, and will gradually become available to existing users over the next couple of weeks.
Netflix hopes the user profiles will encourage more precise recommendations, making users happier with Netflix and in turn watch more videos. Roughly three-quarters of all viewing happens as the result of a recommendation on the Netflix home page, but with the increasing number of multi-viewer households, the effectiveness of the service has decreased.
“An important component of our service is that we can put something compelling in front of users and capture their interest in just a few seconds,” Hunt told TechCrunch. Implementing profiles should make Netflix more effective at that.