When streaming first took off it felt like the period of shared viewership had ended. How could anyone gather around the water cooler to discuss a show or movie when you could all be watching different things at different times?
But, recently, things have changed. The success of (and the raft of discussion about) Netflix titles like ‘Bird Box’ and ‘You’ illustrates the communal viewing experience is alive and well. The difference is that the forum has changed. Rather than the aforementioned water cooler, we now discuss on social media. And Netflix is paying attention.
Yes, the streaming giant today announced that iPhone users of its app will be able to share Netflix titles straight to Instagram Stories. Joy to the world.
It works like this: you open Netflix on iOS, choose a title you’d like to include on your updates, and then you can either add its artwork to your Story, or simply send it to some friends.
Here’s what the share menu looks like in the Netflix app::
And this is what it looks like when you’re about to share to your Story:
A Netflix spokesperson had this to say about the update: “We’re always on the lookout for ways to make it easier for members to share the Netflix titles they’re obsessing about and help them discover something new to watch. We hope our members enjoy this new feature!”
We asked Netflix when this functionality will arrive on Android, and were told the company is “working on it! We don’t have details to share at this time, but stay tuned.”
I can say one thing for certain: this integration will be popular. We covered the announcement (and launch) of music on Instagram and if you use Stories then you know how widespread this has become. It’s rare I go a waking hour without seeing someone sharing a snippet of track they’re listening to.
While some might scoff at this Netflix and Instagram integration, there’ll be many more people excited for an easy way to share their viewing habits with friends, family, and the public at large. And more power to them.
Maybe, just maybe, announcing the death of a shared viewership was premature. It’s now easier than ever to connect with, and talk to, people who are consuming the same media as you.
Well, if you own an iPhone at least.
(Update January 23: Netflix sent us a quote regarding Android availability, which we have inserted into the relevant part of the article)