I started to ask myself that question last month when I found out a documentary I worked on was on Netflix. I’m proud of the work I did on there, so of course, the first thing I wanted to do was to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. But that’s when it hit me that there is no Facebook Like button or a Tweet button anywhere on Netflix. But why?
I quickly forgot about it as I was excited that The Beat Hotel was also premiering in Dallas at the same time it was releasing on Netflix, so I was getting geared up for that. After watching a documentary last night I wanted to share it and was reminded that I couldn’t easily share a link to it and it just started to bug me all over again.
After doing some research, I found the answer in a Wired article. Basically, there’s a US law that doesn’t allow Netflix to post what movie or TV show you are watching automatically. Automatically being the keyword. I personally wouldn’t want Netflix automatically sharing to my social friends all of my viewing history, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be convenient to have buttons within a title to share it if I so choose. Hulu does it.
Maybe this is just one of Netflix’s unfortunately bad decisions (remember Qwikster?). Netflix seems to be persistant in wanting your viewing history to be posted to Facebook automatically. So much so that they have already struck a deal with Facebook, pending until legislation changes that would make it legal for them to do so. It looks like it’s going to be all or nothing with them, no in between.