The Netflix Shuffle Play button is now in its testing phase. The brand-new feature allows you to leave it up to Netflix to choose a film or TV series for you.
According to The Verge, Netflix have been testing the Shuffle Play button worldwide since July, before deciding to roll it out as a permanent feature across the app.
“We run these tests in different countries and for different periods of time, and only make them broadly available if people find them useful,” a Netflix rep told The Verge.
How does Netflix’s Shuffle Play button work?
Though Netflix hasn’t confirmed how the algorithm works yet, it seems to make choices based upon what shows you have previously watched. So, it’s not completely random.
Netflix have tested a similar feature before, back in April 2019. Then, the algorithm suggested viewers a randomly selected episode of a series they wanted to watch.
This would have been handy for those Friends marathons when you can’t decide whether to watch Ross ruin a relationship with Rachel, or one with Emily, or with Julie, or…
Not everyone has it
The new Shuffle Play button only appears on TV versions of the app at the moment, while Netflix is still testing out the feature.
You can find the button either on the main icon page when you select which account to log into, in the sidebar, or on the main ‘billboard’ page.
If you have the TV version of the app, you’ll have to search around to find where yours is located, though for some, the button appears in all three places.
Why introduce it now?
According to TechCrunch, the feature is the latest in a long line of new additions and tests from Netflix aimed at making the app feel more like a traditional TV.
Netflix’s Vice President of Product, Todd Yellin, reportedly told journalists at a press event last year that the company is planning to test different approaches to how viewers watch episodes.
“How about anthologies? How about something like ‘Chef’s Table’? You don’t have to watch it in the order that we tell you to,” said Yellin.
For now, though, it looks like Netflix’s Shuffle Play will be ideal for those overwhelmed with choice or for groups who can’t decide who gets to control the play button. TV democracy in action!