Just because you link your Facebook account to another website doesn't mean you want to share your activity with everyone you know on the social network. Finally, Netflix has figured that out.
The streaming service on Tuesday introduced a social recommendation tool that lets you share what you're watching with your Facebook friends--but instead of posting your viewing activity on your Timeline, Netflix is only sharing your recommendations on its turf.
How it works: After you finish streaming a show or movie, Netflix will give you the option to tell a Facebook friend (or several) about it. Those friends won't see anything you've shared with them on Facebook itself, but they'll get your recommendation the next time they log in to Netflix if they've also linked both accounts. If they haven't, Netflix will share your recommendation privately on Facebook Messenger or via e-mail.
The new feature will help Netflix's 48 million users discover new stuff to watch. The service's algorithms are fine--and incredibly specific--but sometimes the best way to find a new favorite is through a friend.
Netflix has promised to never post on your behalf or spam your friends, which is reassuring. Facebook has worked on making its login service for third parties better and more secure after several missteps, like sharing your viewing activity on news and video sites with the whole world. Now that its permissions are clear and you don't have to share your activity just to use Facebook to log in to outside apps, the network is reporting higher engagement--which is exactly what Netflix needs if it's going to boost subscribers and encourage its original shows to go viral.
The new feature is available on Apple devices, smart TVs, PCs, and game consoles, but hasn't yet rolled out to Android.