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Netflix Introduces New Feature To Randomly Play Films or Shows

The next time you log in to your Netflix account you might see something new: A just-introduced feature that lets the company’s almighty algorithm pick something for you to watch based on your prior viewing history.

The new option is called “Play Something.” You’ll find it in different spots depending on whether you access Netflix through an app, a device, or online. It can be spotted under your name on the profiles page, in its own row on the home page, or as an option under the menu on the left rail. Wherever you find it, though, you’ll recognize it by those two words: Play Something.

If you click it, Netflix will (duh) play something based on your earlier viewing history. According to Netflix’s official Twitter account, it will select a title based on one of three possible options:

  • A new series/film similar to one you’ve watched before
  • An episode/film you’ve already watched and may want to watch again if it’s been a while
  • An episode from a show you’ve started but haven’t finished (it will pick up where you left off)

So, for example, if you watched and loved David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, Netflix would try to find you another movie where a man inserts video tapes into an orifice in his abdomen. Or it may play Videodrome for you again, if it is currently streaming on Netflix. Or it might play an episode from a show you didn’t binge all the way to completion, like Nailed It. To the best of my knowledge, Nailed It! does not feature a man inserting video tapes into a hole in his stomach, but it does feature people eating weird things, so it’s kind of close anyway. (Maybe this wasn’t the best hypothetical example.)

Netflix says Play Something is designed for when you “want to watch something” but you’re “not sure what.” Give it a try the next time you turn on Netflix without anything specific in mind. (Don’t try watching Videodrome there right now; they don’t have it. But you can rent it elsewhere.)

Gallery — Every Movie That’s Gotten an F CinemaScore, Ranked:

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By yusmid