Netflix Rolls Out Separate User Profiles So Your Recommendations Aren’t All ‘Dora The Explorer’

Now my imaginary son Jimmy can have his own queue.

Now my imaginary son Jimmy can have his own queue.

When Netflix launched its DVD-by-mail service many moons ago, it allowed users to divide up that allotment of DVDs among members of a household. Each person had his/her own queue that could be tailored to each person’s tastes. But with its streaming service, users just had one account (though often shared across numerous devices), so everyone could see when someone was watching a little too many mid-70s French horror films starring scantily clad vampires and every family’s recommendations filled up with animated kids shows because those often get the most play on the family iPad after school.

That should change thanks to an update being rolled out now on the Netflix website that allows users to create up to five separate profiles for streaming videos, each with its own queue, viewing history, recommendations and ratings.

To see if you have access to this option, go to https://movies.netflix.com/EditProfiles. Once there, you can add/remove profiles. You can also indicate that the profile is for a child under the age of 12.

It’s worth noting that, even when I created a profile for my imaginary 8-year-old son Jimmy (he has his momma’s eyes), the Netflix homepage for that account still brought up selections that may be a little too mature for Jimmy’s young eyes, like Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, and Hunger Games (which is both age-inappropriate and plain awful).

Switching between profiles is done at the top right corner of the screen via drop-down menu. Just from monkeying around with it here in the Consumerist lair, it looks like all the users can freely switch between profiles without passwords, so parents could check on kids’ viewing habits. But before you start watching everything you’d been holding off on streaming, be mindful that your kids can still access your profile.

Even those who don’t have families or roommates could still utilize the profiles option. For instance, some people like to put on crappy movies and TV shows to fall asleep to at night, but then have to deal with having recommendations that are chock-full of more crappy content they don’t actually want to watch. Now you can use a second profile for falling asleep to Law & Order reruns without having them infect your recommendations list.

[via Dwight Silverman/TechBlog]