Netflix to allow multiple user profiles under one account

13 Jun 2013

Netflix vice-president of product innovation Todd Yellin revealed this week that Netflix accounts with multiple user profiles are currently undergoing testing and could be made available by late summer.

Those familiar with Netflix will know that the video streaming service provides users with recommendations based on their viewing history. The problem with that for users who share their subscription with other members of their family or household, is that you’ll log-in to find suggestions to watch Charlie and Lola, Breaking Bad, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dexter – quite the disparate mix, and not catering to a single user’s tastes.

Speaking to Yahoo News, Yellin explained that Netflix is readying a feature that will bring an end to its mish-mashed user recommendations. By enabling users to create multiple profiles under one account, the viewing history of one user won’t impact the recommendations of another.

The feature is still in development, but a prototype was demonstrated at E3 and showed how, after logging in, users would be brought to a screen with different avatars for each user of that account.

Yellin explained that five to six profiles can be created per account, and the feature should be ready by the end of August – though it’s possible this could only apply to the US market at first.

The feature might also be able to prevent shared users’ guilty pleasures showing up on the account owner’s Facebook timeline – or at least take away that excuse you used after watching a full series of Charmed.

Netflix is also said to have a remote control app in development and is working with TV manufacturers in efforts to have the technology needed for its streams implemented in television sets as standard in two to five years.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic