- Netflix is testing a feed in its mobile app that brings together movie trailers, photos and alerts for upcoming shows in a format that resembles the Stories features in Instagram and Snapchat. The video-streaming giant is piloting the "Extras" feed among a segment of its audience, Variety first reported.
- The feed has a dedicated button in the mobile app and doesn't replace other features. Its videos play automatically without sound, which can be turned on with a screen tap, and users can horizontally scroll through images that aren't available elsewhere in the app, TechCrunch reported.
- Users can create playlists of favorite shows, and the feed emphasizes sharing movie recommendations with friends on social media. Trailers don't launch into full-length videos, as users have to instead click through to a show's page on Netflix.
While about 70% of Netflix viewing time takes place on a TV, the streaming site's mobile apps provide a significant channel to reach audiences and engage them with interactive content. While Snapchat pioneered the Stories format, which lets users string together several images and videos into a single post, it's become a popular feature in other social apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
Streaming music service Pandora similarly debuted a tool called Pandora Stories in February that lets creators make playlists that combine music tracks with their audio commentary, according to a company announcement.
With its test of app features that resemble those in social media apps, Netflix can participate in the social discussions fans have about their favorite shows while delivering more exclusive content that can't be found elsewhere on its platform. The new mobile features may also help viewers discover new shows based on recommendations from their friends, which could prolong time spent with Netflix programming.
The test follows Netflix's introduction of previews that resemble Stories buttons in its app. The circular thumbnails can be tapped to play vertical videos designed for mobile viewing. The previews play like a slideshow that lets users swipe or tap to skip to the next video without returning to the main screen. Viewers also could be added to a personalized list for later viewing, TechCrunch reported.