Netflix is looking to introduce a "shuffle" feature that will queue up a random episode of a television show – helping those who can't decide what to watch to jump straight to their favorite show. The new button works in the same way as the "random" feature in iTunes and Spotify, which plays an album or playlist in a random order.
With its most recent update, it looks like Netflix wants to recreate the experience of flipping through terrestrial channels and landing in a random episode of The Simpsons, Friends, Top Gearor Seinfeld that you've seen half a dozen times before – but you can't resist watching it again.
Clearly, the new feature, which appears as a "Random Episode" button – not "Random", will not work on all programs. After all, it will be quite a disconcerting experience to watch Hunter or Making an Assassin in a random order. This is not the first time we've heard of Netflix's plans to make it easier to return to a series from a randomly chosen starting point.
According New York Post, the video-on-demand company is currently in the middle of its "second round of testing" on the feature after testing began last year. Users who saw the new pop-up within the Netflix app shared their enthusiasm on social media. According to these users, it appears that the Californian company is testing only the "Random Episode" button on Android and Amazon Fire TV versions of Netflix.
Netflix is currently collecting user comments. If the second round of testing is successful, the streaming giant will decide whether the "Random Episode" button will be available to users worldwide.
The latest update comes a few weeks after Netflix allows users to manually remove programs from the Keep Watching list, which appears at the top of the app. Until recently, this included a list of everything you started playing – but Never finished.
This includes episodes or movies that you started watching, decided it wasn't your cup of tea, and was promptly abandoned. But despite the rejection, Netflix would continue to promote the episode in half on its menu Keep watching for months after the fact … as if you suddenly had an epiphany that "Insatiable" or that Adam Sandler's new movie was suddenly worth your time.
After the update, Netflix subscribers can now remove any program or movie from the list by clicking on the title card and tapping the "Remove from line" option located at the bottom of the menu. So now you have no excuse for not cleaning up the spring that swelled the list. Keep watching.