Netflix Testing a Shuffle Feature So You Can Stop Aimlessly Scrolling Through the Library

For years, Netflix subscribers have wanted a the option to randomly select something to watch instead of spending hours aimlessly scrolling through their library. Now the streaming service may end up giving the masses what they want.

Netflix is currently testing a “Shuffle” feature that will pick something for you to watch at random. However, it’s not completely random, because it will pick something based on what you’ve been watching and what you like. Find out more about the Netflix shuffle feature below.

Tech Crunch noticed the testing of the Netflix shuffle feature after some users noticed “Shuffle Play” button:

— Turner Levison (@TurnerLevison) August 18, 2020

As you can see, the button is one of the first things to greet users when they open the Netflix app. It’s situated right under the profile avatar so you can get to shuffling right away. However, this isn’t the only way that users are seeing this feature. Other users might see a “Play Something” option in their sidebar inside the Netflix app, as seen below.

The above version of the Netflix shuffle feature was posted back in the middle of July, so clearly this is something that Netflix has been testing for a little while now. In fact, the company says that the profile button is the only version of shuffle that’s actively being tested right now, so the other versions must have finished their testing phase.

When selecting shuffle, users might see a movie they’re currently watching, something that’s saved in their list, or something that you’ve already watched and given a thumbs up rating to. Netflix says that it’s a feature that they hope will help members find something tailored to their interests in a much faster and efficient fashion. They compare the feature to the feeling of turning on the TV and seeing whatever is playing at that time.

There’s no indication as to when this shuffle feature may be expanded to all users, but it likely depends on how the tests went, and which version was shown to be more used or more effective.

Now is the part of this article where we’ll push our hopes that Netflix will one day introduce playlists and allow users to shuffle through a collection of episodes from their favorite TV shows instead of just anything at random. How awesome would it be to have a playlist with episodes of The Office, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock, and just hit shuffle to let it play through episodes as if it were a series of reruns on TV? Netflix tried a variation of this when they tested a feature that let users choose a series from which to play a random episode, but it needs to take that one step further. At least Netflix is still trying new things to improve the user experience.

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