You may not mind telling your Facebook friends that you are binge watching House of Cards, but it might be a different story when it comes to, say, Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Whereas Netflix previously blasted users’ viewing histories on Facebook, the streaming video company on Tuesday debuted a recommendation tool that lets viewers whose streaming accounts are connected to Facebook privately share their favorite shows and movies with select friends.
If a sharer’s friends also link their Netflix and Facebook accounts, they will see these recommendations when they next log into the streaming service. Netflix will alert the sender if his or her friends watch the show or add it to their queues. If the friends don’t have their Netflix accounts connected with Facebook, the recommendations will show up as private messages on Facebook. These recommendations will no longer appear on users’ news feeds.
Netflix’s new approach to recommendations follows the general direction of Facebook’s news feed. Battling a surge of spam, Facebook over the past year has been tweaking its algorithm to deprioritize posts with clickbait links and updates automatically posted by third parties.