While Netflix users have been able to link their accounts to Facebook for a while now, doing so didn't have many benefits. Linking accounts basically meant everything you watched on the service would appear in the Facebook feed of friends. Unless you delighted in polluting the Facebook feeds of all your friends with your binge watching habits, there wasn't much to enjoy about Netflix's social features.

That is all changing today as Netflix rolls out new social features that will allow viewers to recommend TV shows and movies to friends with the press of a button.

Doing so is easy: after watching a show or movie on Netflix a message will appear on screen, asking if the user would like to recommend the content to others. Choosing to do so brings up friends from your Facebook account, which users can then select before sending a message to go along with their recommendation.

Friends will be notified of the recommendation the next time they log into Netflix, Facebook Messenger, or will receive the recommendation via a Facebook email. Friends can choose to reply to the message, ignore it or let Facebook automatically notify their friend when they have watched the recommended content. That's much better than being forced to see every show a friend has watched in the last 24 hours on your Facebook activity feed.

"For us, it's about trying to find a new social model that works for on demand television," Cameron Johnson, Netflix's director of product innovation, said to Mashable. "Most people already tell their friends about TV shows or movies they like, we're trying to make that experience seamless and quick within Netflix."

Using Facebook's friend algorithm, Netflix will automatically highlight the recommendations of friends who users interact with the most.

Less than a majority of Netflix subscribers in the U.S. have their Facebook account linked with the service, but a higher percentage of users in Europe and Latin America choose to link with Facebook, Johnson said. No doubt the latest wave of changes is looking to change that.

"The U.S. is an interesting case because we built up a large membership base before we added Facebook options," Johnson said. "For a lot of U.S. members, it's a late addition for them."

The new controls will first be coming to PC, iOS devices and game consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Functionality will be coming to Android devices in a couple months, according to Johnson.

Photo: Shardayyy via Flickr 

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