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Alphadawg7

It's still there, and it was not removed. They just took it off the main tabs, and it is not prominently featured. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. I just got a movie note from a friend today. New subscribers probably don't know about it at all because of this.

bob

I've never heard of the Netflix Friends features.

MCW

I like the Netflix friends feature. They've refused to update and/or integrate it to keep up with social media changes internet-wide, so that's why it's been given a lesser status.

@Alphadawg7 They're protesting that the friends visibility is no longer on Movie Detail pages like it once was. Your friends notes used to show up on a TV/Movie page, right under the description. You also cannot leave notes at all. All the old stuff may be there, but you cannot use it.

Scott

The Friends feature and Top Ten Lists are *not* on individual movie pages any longer. Reviews from random Netflix users *are* there, however, and that makes absolutely no sense. Why would I care more about a random Netflix user's opinion than my friends'?

Rigel

If they'd just put the Friends ratings back on the individual movie pages, that alone would make me happy since that was one of the only reason I went to the individual movie pages.

Notes and Top Ten lists I couldn't care less about.

Luna Saisho

I feel like this:

Netflix made a change, and some people are not liking it. But those who don't like it seem to be very vocal and rude about it, saying how offended they are and how they won't do this and that.

The solution that should have been? Netflix made a change. Polite constructive messages telling them that you don't like it and would like those friends features that you enjoy back.

See, the thing I don't understand is that so many are so quickly acting as if Netflix did this just to annoy you and won't listen. They made a change, you don't like it, tell them constructively. If you yell at them, just like non-netflix people, they will not listen to you.

I don't mean this to be rude, I mean it to help, and I sincerely hope it's taken as such. This also isn't meant towards the comments here before me, but is mentioned towards mostly the people quoted in the Hacking Netflix story.

Passiflora

What Luna probably doesn't know is that we have been making polite comments and polite phone calls for months now. But every time they make a change they remove or scale back even further the friends community features. Now they just made it useless. That is why so many people are up in arms. Not only did they remove all the features that were really useful to active members, but they have chosen to completely ignore all the complaints. I for one, feel double offended.

not unpreposterous

Passiflora is correct that a great deal of what is driving the "angry" sound of the comments at, for example, the official Netflix blog, is that the company has not seen fit to address the complaints.

In fact, they deleted over 150 (mostly) polite complaints from the comments section the first day they posted the blog entry, which definitely escalated the aggravated tone of further responses.

Knaldskalle

As one of the people mentioned in the piece, I guess I'm addressed by Luna Saisho.

This protest is not the initial reaction to Netflix's redesign. We have called Netflix Customer Service repeatedly to voice our complaints and there has been no response. We have left comments on the official Netflix blog and there has been no response. We have only received 1 response from someone at Netflix on the thread about this change on The Netflix Community.

Here's an excerpt from that response: "But what I'll ask you all to remember is that you're power users, and the way you use the website is not necessarily like the average user."

"Power users" may not use the site the way regular users do, but they do provide a valuable part of the content on the Netflix website (reviews and Top 10 lists). If Netflix does not consider the wishes of power users important enough to include the features powers users rely on, I see no reason why those same power users should continue to provide Netflix with their free work. Do you?

This is not the first time that Netflix has made changes that were not well received. A little over 2 years ago Netflix removed all links to the popular "Releases This Week" page and that caused an outcry even bigger than this latest change. Within days there were over a thousand responses on the Netflix blog and there were plenty of responses here as well. The Netflix Community was founded shortly after that and much of the early debate was over that change with more thousands of comments. Netflix never brought the links back. So Netflix has a history of not listening to its own users when they "ask politely".

We are a minority, we fully realize that, but we are the minority that writes reviews and makes lists. Until this issue is addressed some of us have decided to take our work elsewhere while simultaneously trying to make the "average user" aware of our situation. I'm sorry if you see this as rude, but it's the only way we can think of that can possibly make Netflix take our complaints seriously.

I hope more of you will join us.

Jimbo

This is a childish response from a bunch of hypocrites with a persecution complex.

To them this issue is the most important in the world and justifies spamming Netflix reviews and Netflix employees. Captions for IW, Linux support for IW, privacy issues, star rating preferences, new release availability and every other issue that many Netflix members have are trivial and outright mocked.

Certainly many members liked these community features and are sorry to see them go. However, a handful of members believe they deserve better than the average member (and their petty issues) and feel the need to make their voices heard more loudly than others.

Curious to see how these protesters handled complaints from other "reviewers" in the past. Flagged: NOT A REVIEW!

Wow, they really think Netflix intentionally deleted 150 posts from their blog? That clearly demonstrates their delusions of self-importance.

Ben L

I don't get the comments about the friends page disappearing. I can still view it. I do not however see what my friends have rated a particular movie on that movie's page though.

Aces

This is Aces from the story.
This protest is about returning the Top 10 Lists, Friends ratings/reviews and ability to send notes on the movie profile page. Those of us who have used these features for years understand why a lot of you didn't. Netflix hid the features just like they removed the DVDs Releasing This Week link. Like someone above said the Friends reviews were important to him but not the lists. The lists were how I found 90% of the movies I watched but I'm not just asking that those be returned. I'm asking that all the features be reinstated (the ones I use and don't use) because they can be used by all NF customers and will be if they are not hidden.

As Knalds said about Netflix.

Their customers politely asked NF to return the Releasing this Week Link but they ignored us.

Their customers politely asked NF to not require the Silverlight player but they ignored us.

Their customers politely asked NF to add closed captioning to the Instant Watch but they ignored us.

Their customers politely asked NF to support Linus but they ignored us.

When Netflix announced that Profiles were going to be eliminated customers politely(?) asked NF to reconsider and they did.

We want them to bring back the Notes, Friends reviews and ratings and Lists for all of you. That's the most accurate way to find movies you will enjoy. Then we will delete the protest reviews. We miss the real reviews too. Until then we ask that you please just ignore them or call NF 866-716-0414 and ask them to replace the features. Thank you.

Drew

I called Netflix and spoke with the woman who answered the phone. She told me she's been getting many calls by people who were upset by the downgrading of the Netflix Friends features. The only way to make sure they know and pass on our sentiments is by calling Netflix and telling them what we think, in a polite way.

Seth

Regarding the idea that commenters on a site like this are "power users" and therefore somehow less representative of the typical Netflix user, I would take issue with this.

This is something that you see in political circles and the term is known as a "vocal minority." Such groups are often dismissed as not representing the "true" view of the populace. However, frequently the opposite is the case. Very often the so-called vocal minority are the only constituents and/or customers who know about an issue at all.

And in order to find someway to dismiss this, the knowledgeable individuals are put into a larger group of populace that does not know about the issue at all.

When someone says, "You're not like the average user" or "You're a vocal minority" they're often sadly saying "You know too much about this issue."

Seth

"If you yell at them, just like non-netflix people, they will not listen to you."

I agree with this.

I also agree that Netflix appears to be listening less to its customers. And starting to sound more like a regular company in its communications. The announcement of the Warner deal was particularly sad to read.

Hank

Seth, is it the majority of users who didn't know about the community features or didn't use them that Netflix should be listening more to, or the so-called "power users" they should be listening to?

Oh wait, I see you think that most people were actually using those features and that Netflix must have been lying about polling and testing the feature changes. And that they took away those features knowing how popular they were. What do you think their hidden motivation was for this nefarious plan?

Scott Rose

Here is part of a letter that I sent to the moron known as Leslie Kilgore who is VP of Netflix Marketing. She NEVER responded to me:

I plan on writing an upcoming blog entry on how companies in the technology world go completely downhill when they stop listening to their customers and start letting their marketing & sales department drive their company instead of their customers' desires.

Netflix has now made the Top 10 List for these horrible & distracted companies who no longer care about their customers' needs, and it is obviously because of people like you who close your ears to what your customers really want.

If you'd like just a few examples of how your company abuses & mistreats & ignores its customers, here are just a FEW of the ways:

1. You have slowly been phasing out the Friends features of your new website, and now you have almost completely removed this feature with the latest Netflix website revamp. Yet this friends feature was undoubtedly the #1 most useful feature of your website for every single Netflix customer that I know of. In fact, it was the ONLY feature that set your website apart from competing movie rental companies online. To be able to see your friends' ratings & notes for any particular movie is absolutely mission critical in knowing whether a movie is worth seeing or not. What OUR OWN TRUSTED FRIENDS say about a movie is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than what even A MILLION ANONYMOUS PEOPLE say about a movie. For Netflix to not grasp this concept shows a terrible disconnect in what you know about your customers' desires. (By the way, even before you phased out this feature, there were DOZENS of bugs in this friends feature because you decided to not spend time developing it. For example, if you left a note about a movie, it would not show up to newer friends in the future. Also, if you sent a note about a movie to someone, it did not send your star rating along with that note.)

...

5. You post an Official Netflix blog and you seem to inspire comments on your blog, but your staff never responds to the comments that your customers leave there. So it is clear that Netflix does not want to have a 2-way conversation with its customers, but that it is interested in having a 1-way conversation with its customers.

If you have anything to say before I publish this piece on Netflix, I would be more than happy to entertain your response.

FrenchChandra21

The personal loans suppose to be essential for guys, which would like to start their company. In fact, that's not very hard to get a secured loan.

Seth

All I want to know is...how do I send a Note now??? I seriously CANNOT figure out how to do it without the note button on the individual movie page.

Bast

I sincerely hope that people who run across 'reviews' like this mark them as inappropriate so they can hopefully be removed.

Sock Puppet

@ Jimbo Have you ever managed a blog of your own? If so then you should know that its possible to accidentally delete one entry, heck maybe even two... But to delete every single one? By accident? Not to mention that the blog they use is owned by a company that very likely could have restored them all from a backup... IF Netflix had though it important enough to bother with.

@ Hank Have you ever received a survey from Netflix concerning service changes or possible new features etc? Some of us have been members for 5-7 years or more and have NEVER received any such thing.

We have politely asked Netflix if they could show us the survey questions and the percentage of users who answered... They have ignored us. A simple thing that would have reaffirmed their suggestion that a fair and arbitrary survey was done.

As far as surveys go, you can manipulate them to provide the results you desire simply by picking and choosing demographics and using user data (slow turnover, only rents children's movies, age, location, site usage statistics etc.)

Its not that big of a deal for them to include the features back... Instead they choose to dumb their site down and make it less unique and feature rich.

I for one miss the lists that folks made that had that particular movie in it, I have found hundreds of movies I never would have known existed through those lists. I also would like friends ratings back, it was nice to compare right there. Finally I'd like links to seasons 2--- or parts 2, 3 etc for movies and TV shows put back..

Oooo WoW I watched season one of Dexter, never heard of it before, but have no idea there are more seasons unless I search to find out... People don't read, let alone search...

Anyway, you all are entitled to your opinions, and for those of you calling us hypocrites or other unfriendly comments...

Ask yourself who actually seems more like a child, the person with a cause, or the person calling names...

Seth

Hank, I don't understand most of your reply or what it has to do with what I wrote, but I'm not too impressed with whatever surveys Netflix did.

Netflix has been trying to phase out these types of features for awhile. First it was with Profiles.

Netflix did not do a survey and then decide what to do. They decided what to do and then did a survey. I have doubt whatsoever that most of their users have no idea what the Friends feature is. So there goes your theory about me believing in some conspiracy.

But I also have no doubt that most Netflix users have no idea about most of the features on their site. Ergo, what does the survey prove? Not much. And do they know that? Of course they know that. They just don't want to come out and say they're phasing out the features because that's what they want to do.

You have to realize that Netflix's bread and butter are customers who pay them each month and can barely be bothered to return the discs. Netflix internal literature famously calls these customers "sheep."

Jimbo

Seriously, Sock Puppet? After many thousands of blog posts over the last few years from irate and irrational members over topics such as the new release page, profiles, blu-ray, etc.?

Suddenly they decide that they'll delete all the posts from this one topic and hope that no one will notice and there would be no backlash?

That's some imagination.

ZarathustrA

Nice passive-aggressive post, Luna. ;)

Unless maybe you are actually very uninformed on the situation...

Bobby

I wish the biggest worry in my life was that netflix took away what movies my friends liked. Here's a trivial idea - talk to them. Ask them if they've seen anything good lately.

Hank

@Sock Puppet, I have received a survey and I have been drafted as an unwilling test subject for interface changes. It's been very rare, but as only 1 in over 10 million customers I don't expect to be called on to vote for every change. Unlike some.

Hank

@Seth, so you think Netflix makes major decisions without even considering their customers opinions. Then they fake or intentionally skew a survey to justify it? Justify it to whom?

You guys have such a low opinion of Netflix' honesty and competence that it boggles the mind that you have stayed with them for so long.

I guess given your low opinion of them, it wouldn't be surprising that they wouldn't care a tiny bit what you guys think.

MiniMonkey

There are a few points I'd like to address here:

1) It's true that the friends features have not (yet) been entirely removed. You can still access many of the friends features (inconveniently) through the friends link at the bottom of the page. However, it IS true that there is NO LONGER ANY WAY to see how all of your friends rated a single movie in a single place unless you, yourself already and RECENTLY rated the movie. This makes friends' ratings useless as a means of finding new movies to rent. Netflix has, in fact, removed a very valuable feature -- they haven't just moved it out of sight like many are saying.

2) I find it interesting and not surprising that the most popular vote in this poll so far is "What is Netflix Friends?" This is for a poll on a blog titled Hacking Netflix -- it would be reasonable to assume that most readers of this blog are "power uses" and yet, even 30% of POWER USERS have never heard of the feature. How can Netflix possibly expect the general population of users to find out about the friends features if they keep pushing it to the background? Maybe if Netflix embraced the features, made them as awesome and integrated into the site as they could be and, you know, advertised them a bit... they'd see a MUCH larger percentage of their user-base as active friends users.

3) The reason that the argument to keep the friends features around is different than many other popular user requests is twofold: The feature already exists so no extra development time would need to be allocated to create it. Also, if a user doesn't have any friends, they won't see the friends ratings on their movie page... so why take it away for those who clearly do use it?! It makes no sense. This isn't sacrificing some people's features to make things more streamlined for the majority of users. If it's true that most Netflix members don't use the friends features, then they won't even see the difference on the movie page if the friends ratings are there or not!

Drew

I'm not seeing what the big deal is of people coming on here and vilifying users who want the features restored. If we want the site to go back to the way it was, why are some individuals resorting to name calling about it?

ZarathustrA

"I wish the biggest worry in my life was that netflix took away what movies my friends liked."

Really, Bobby? This is the comment you're sticking with?
The impression I get from this is changing text on a website is something you only save for your "biggest worry in [...] life".

People taking a few minutes of their day to work towards a change doesn't strike me as something one only does when something becomes the biggest worry of their life.

What do you do for your smaller worries, clap your hands?

Nicole

I agree completely with MiniMonkey. It is not as though we are arguing for them to DEVELOP friends features, just arguing for them not to REMOVE friends features.

Aside from that, I have decided to call CSR tomorrow and reduce my monthly plan. If they don't want to listen to words, maybe they will listen to CASH.

mndtrp

I just watched a movie that I would like to let my sister know about. I suppose I could call her up to let her know, and then hope she remembers when she gets onto Netflix. I could email her, or send her a note on Facebook, yet it would be (and has been) so much easier to leave her a note on the Netflix website itself. Whenever she logs in, she can check the note, check the movie, and add it right away.

We've done this countless times, with other friends as well. I like to easily see what each of my friends has rated a movie when I'm looking to add something new. I also like to see what they rated when I rate a movie, which sparks discussion. Sure, I could hunt and peck through each of their ratings lists, and then go through different channels to engage the discussion, yet it makes more sense to do it all from one site.

If they don't put the friends info back on the individual movie pages, I'll be disappointed. It won't make me leave Netflix, or think much worse of them, but it will mean less time spent on their website, less movies I or my friends might check out, and less overall enjoyment from Netflix.

It would be nice if the pages didn't have the friends features, but once you do add friends to your profile, that info would show up on the individual movie pages. It seems that Netflix is looking to streamline their code, though, so I doubt anything like that will happen.

mndtrp

Forgot to add: I don't really agree with the review spamming. It's always upset me when people who aren't involved get affected by others who are trying to incite change.

It's like yelling at the person behind you in line because the bar only staffs one bartender on the busiest night of the week.

Hank

@Nicole. Actually several of you are arguing for them to DEVELOP friends features. One guy points out all the bugs he's repeatedly complained about, another says they need to beef up the features and promote them so more than a handful of people would use them, ... Last year many in the forums complained bitterly and repeatedly about certain community bugs not being fixed.

Face it, Netflix went in the direction of being a social networking site and found that that's not what most of their customers wanted. They've apparently decided to leave that business to people who are willing to invest heavily in it and let those existing social networks promote Netflix, rather than the other way around.

Netflix hasn't gone about explicitly hacking away the friends features just to piss people off. As they've made other changes they've simply given those obsolescent and increasingly buggy and hard to maintain features the consideration they deserve in the long-term plans for the company.

So maybe those who insist on keeping these features which are only used by a fraction of the customer base "are deluded freaks incapable of understanding basic business concepts."

Hank

@mndtrp

Consider again how it might look if you were to do this on Facebook instead. I think it's safe to say that people interested in social networking check their Facebook page much more often than their Netflix page. For people whose lives revolve around movies that may not be the case, but how many of them are there? We don't know that, but Netflix probably has a pretty good idea and they've given us a good estimate with their actions.

So instead of posting that note to the handful you've recruited to be your Netflix friends, you can send that note to all (or some subset) of your real social network. And if your friends are typical, you probably had to teach them what Netflix friends were as they'd never noticed that feature before.

Now you can talk about movies with not just Netflix users, but all your friends who are movie lovers. You might get notifications when any of your friends see a 5-star movie without having to log in and check to see their ratings. The number of possible applications are endless.

It won't be exactly the same as the Netflix friends, it will be better in some ways and more cumbersome in others. But if there is a real demand for this then someone (with or without Netflix' help) will build it.

Jacky

At first I was very upset Netflix removed friends ratings, top 10 list, and movie notes. But after reading that ridiculous and boring protest review, that these users are trying to flood the review pages with, I now hope that Netflix never brings them back just to spite you annoying and childish spammers.

Lanz

Hey Jacky, do you work at being a dooshbag, or does it come naturally? Kudos to you on a fine job, sir/maam!

Seth

Hank, you appear to be intentionally trolling. I can't further respond.

BB

Gee people, we are only talking movies here.Where are your priorities in your life??.
I agree with Bobby.

niceboobies

Seth I've enjoyed reading your insights and comments in the past, but you're wrong with the intentional troll comment on Hank. Even if he is trolling just to get a reaction out of you he is nonetheless bringing up some excellent points especially in his last post.

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