Users have varying opinions when it comes to sharing recently viewed media content. There are those who believe that they deserve a little privacy even if it involves keeping things secret from their significant other. Though the reasons to keep things private are unique fpr every individual, Netflix is coming up with a private viewing feature that aims to provide users with some "peace of mind" and "guilt-free viewing."
The new feature is currently on a test run in several markets which involve the participation of selected users. The test run is scheduled to continue within the next few months. The general roll-out will depend on the test results. Of course, there is a possibility that it will remain just a test and will never be publicly available.
Netflix director Cliff Edwards of corporate communications spoke to Gigaom and said, "At Netflix, we continuously test new things. In this case, we are testing a feature in which a user watching a movie or TV show can choose to view in "Privacy Mode." He further adds, "Choosing that option means the program will not appear in your viewing activity log, nor will it be used to determine recommendations about what you should watch in the future."
In a real life situation, this type of feature could come in handy particularly when there are guests in the house. The private mode would never make a connection between the guests' selections and the account holder's recommendations list. The Netflix user can also set up a secondary user account for keeping the recommendations made by the guests, deviating them from the main account.
Users of Netflix are able to set up individual profiles and even share a common account. Since it is common, there is a strong likelihood that it can be accessed by multiple people such as family members who want to have a piece of the subscription and friends who are also staying in the house. Though it may seem convenient, it can also pose some unwanted privacy intrusion.
To fully enjoy the new "Privacy mode" service feature, Netflix plans to enhance the settings menu and make it accessible on all platforms. It's similar to how Chrome and other popular browsers offer a private tab feature to a user's browsing experience. This means that even if the user is keen on bodybuilding and watching cheesy romantic comedies, he doesn't have to make everyone know his sweet little secret.