Netflix gets personal with individual user profiles

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Netflix on Thursday added a new feature that will permit different users on the same account to have their own profile, complete with personalized recommendations and a link to their Facebook page. The aptly-named “Profiles” feature supports up to five users without accruing any additional monthly charges.

Here’s how it works. Any member of the family can log into Netflix at which point they will see an icon for their profile. Simply select your profile and you’ll get personalized recommendations and an Instant Queue just as you would if you were the sole user of the account. And thanks to Facebook integration that was implemented earlier this year, you’ll also receive suggestions based on what your friends have watched and rated.

The feature has been in testing for some time and according to Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt, subscribers actually watched more programming while using it. What’s more, individual profiles eliminate misguided content from being posted on your feed based on someone else’s viewing habits.

Above all, however, Hunt said the new feature boils down to making people happy. His sentiments echo those of CEO Reed Hastings during a recent conference call where he said Netflix is in the membership happiness business, not the TV show business.

Profiles are rolling out as of writing across a number of platforms including Apple TV, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iPad, iPhone and most smart TVs in addition to traditional web viewing. If you don’t see the option just yet, be patient and check back in a day or so.

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