Have you ever watched a movie that you’d be embarrassed to have your friends know you watched? It usually isn’t all that hard to hide until you find yourself sharing a Netflix account. Netflix, however, is adding a feature to allow you to hide certain titles from your recently watched feed.
The option, currently in testing, will be called “privacy mode.” If you watch while in privacy mode, that movie or show will not appear in your recently watched queue and will not influence your recommendations. Perhaps more importantly, no one will be asking questions about your My Little Pony obsession.
According to a statement to GigaOm, Netflix will gradually roll the feature out to normal end users and see how it works. If it is well-received and works as intended, it should become a standard feature over the next several months. If not, it might go away entirely.
Netflix’s streaming catalog is often criticized for not having enough selection. At least, that’s what you hear whenever there is a complaint. That means that, beyond buying the expensive streaming rights to more titles, Netflix’s best chance at improving the customer experience is to put the titles they want at the forefront. It’s difficult to read minds, so its many recommendations have a lot of pressure on them.
By allowing you to better curate which shows you want to be part of your profile, so to speak, Netflix will be able to better serve you with recommendations you’ll like. That, and you won’t have to explain away all those embarrassing movies you’ve been watching.