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lame.

Well, they've admitted that they're phasing out friends completely now. Pretty lame. It sucks when the people who actually use a service are treated the worst since they're the people who make it the least money.

To all those bending over backwards to mention how you don't care about this - congratulations. I'm sure netflix loves you and will be your friend now. Removing useful features is only a good thing. whatever

julie

AHA
To leave notes -
1. Click the tiny FRIENDS tab at the bottom of the page
2. Click the FRIENDS & FAVES section to right of the page.
3. In the queue boxes, you will see the purple "Add Notes" option.

fielden

@sock puppet -

truly my last post -
Hank - back hauled through the Netflix Facebook fan page to get my first name and used it in these comments on Netflix blogs where I've only posted with my last name.
Because I chose to use my real identity.


I leave people to draw their own conclusions.

Hank

@fielden,

Whether you want to be known as Lauren, lf, or fielden is of no importance to me (and most likely anybody else). I wasn't "backhaul"ing or doing anything nefarious, but if you think it wasn't an obvious connection to be made, then you are mistaken. Were you really trying to keep your identity hidden? By posting the same exact message, same questions, same links and same basic name?

If so, consider this a very cheap lesson. Your welcome.

Hank

@Lester, cheers and thanks for the beer and the heads up on the blog post which I've only just had time to think about (been enjoying life outside of Netflix, which I recommend to all).

It looks as if the Netflix blog post validates everything I've been saying. I'm sorry they've chosen, for now, not to return a feature that I personally value ("what your friends thought"). But I can't say I'm surprised.

Hey, but to the rest of you. Great job on those "conspiracy" theories. Best of luck on future well intentioned, but poorly thought out crusades.

eviltimes

Why do the comments keep disappearing from this blog?

Chris M.

Probably because this thread has turned into a petty tit for tat. I started to read these but after a poster Hank tried to give a reasonable explanation for the Netflix Friends situation he was quickly attacked as a "troll" by pro- Friends features posters. After reading for awhile it became obvious that those accusing Hank of being a"troll" stopped reading what he had to say after it became clear he wasn't on thier side.

It comes down to this. Netflix decided that the money they have to pay somebodies to create and maintain the Friends section was not it for just 2% of users. They probably decided they wouldn't lose any more money if the 2% up and cancelled their account than if they continued to sink money into a less than popular feature.

By all means people if you love the feature so much then start up a website that provides such a service. However I would like to point out that we just lost a great site Streamingsoon.com and the reason given was that the creators could no longer afford to spend the time AND money(because it does cost money not to mention the unpaid time put into constantly updating it)and be able take care of their other concerns.

From a business standpoint I completely understand why Netflix would want to cut something that is unprofitable for them. And I suspect if it was your business and you were losing money, you would cut it too.
It's easy to complain when you weren't the one losing money on it.

I never liked the Friends and Community feature. I just wanted to rent and watch movies and not be beseiged by e-mails and 1/4 of the top of the page "rate the movie you just watched" every friggin' time I watched something.

And I have a feeling about 98% fellow Netflixers feel the same way if not pretty darn close to it.

alan

@ Chris M.

The "poster Hank" is probably being ignored because his posts are excessively verbose, devoid of valuable insight, presumptuous, repetitive, hostile, unamusing and primarily intended to stifle communication.

"It comes down to this." It doesn't come down to anything in your conclusion because Netflix hasn't shared any methodology for determining this 2% figure nor have they reasonably explained how such a figure relates to any business-rationale. They failed to provide any reason grounded in reality or facts for accepting their explanation wholesale.

Since the profit-maximization goal is obvious, the most reasonable connection between this change and lower fixed costs is that there will be less need to supply more obscure titles in the future that subscribers will not become aware of under the modified layout, and not this silly notion that it was prohibitively expensive to maintain existing features that ran on auto-pilot.

This is a valuable conclusion that we could only draw from our exchange of ideas on this blog. Anyone who only bothered to post here to stifle this exchange, please immediately recognize how completely useless you are.

Hank

Alan, it's easy to be succinct when you have nothing to say and I've only been hostile (if you can call it that) to those who acted like jackasses.

If you had even a shred of objectivity you would see that the protester side of this "debate" has acted with more hostility and less shame in every way. Yet you choose to attack me.

So what new and valuable insight have you provided. None, actually. If you wish me not to be repetitive then please post something new.

I guess I'll repeat what I stated early on, even before their latest blog entry. What kind of statement do you want from them? Nothing short of "the features are coming back will satisfy you."

They say there was a 2% utilization, but as I predicted that number doesn't satisfy you. You want complete details on their data and methodology, which is a ridiculous and pointless demand. If the number were 3% or 5% would that make a difference? If that was "members who used the friends feature in the last week" instead of "members who have ever looked at the friends feature" would that make you feel better? Of course not, you'd still find some new niggling complaint about how they are running their own business.

Well you've at least learned now that profit-maximization is the goal, so that's progress. I imagine this lesson will be lost in the near future and will again come as a complete surprise down the line.

Hank

So let's analyze your assumption about Netflix getting rid of this feature in order to lessen supply of obscure titles. How do you conclude this from any "exchange of ideas" we've had here on the blog? There has been nothing to support this, other than another poster making this same unsubstantiated claim (in an even wilder and crazier form).

It's not unreasonable to believe that the community features led to some users finding more obscure titles. In fact, that was one of the stated goals of the community features (and the recommendation engine).

So what new evidence do you have that Netflix doesn't desire people to find more obscure titles? Any evidence that this costs Netflix more than just providing more new and recent releases? They've given no hints that I can see that they are trimming their catalog or reducing supply for obscure titles in particular.

It's far more likely, IMO, that they are unsupporting community features even though it costs them a little bit of profit by not fully utilizing their catalog. That loss of profit is outweighed by getting rid of an outdated and kludgy set of community features that makes future work more difficult.

Even in the unlikely event that all of what you say is true, so what? It would be a simple business decision, that yes, maximizes their profits. They are constantly adjusting the selection and supply and balancing costs between DVDs, Blu-Ray and Streaming - always trying to maximize profits while still keeping as many customers happy as they can.

Do you want them to show you the inventories of each disc they buy and the financials on how much they earn from discs vs. streaming, et al.

You're free to speculate. Hopefully reasonable people will look at all sides and decide what they think is most likely.

But it's far more productive for individual members to decide whether to keep paying Netflix for the service they actually receive, rather than some inflated opinion of what they think they should get.

alan

Dear Hank, it should be easy to be succinct when you have nothing to say. Why do you keep failing epically? Nothing in your tedious post responded to mine or added to the discussion.

"If you had even a shred of objectivity you would see that the protester side of this "debate" has acted with more hostility and less shame in every way. Yet you choose to attack me."

I never compared you to any protesters. I explained why people are apparently ignoring you on this specific forum. Ironically your response of a red herring perfectly buttresses my original point.

"Of course not, you'd still find some new niggling complaint about how they are running their own business."

Here you're again being unnecessarily presumptuous and hostile without making a point. As a paying customer, of course I care what the service provier's rationale is when the services I pay for are eliminated. Is this obviously valid reason for qusetioning an elimination of services I pay for really beyond the scope of your cognitive ability that you feel compelled to question anyone's motivaion in even voicing their concern?

You seem to think that our only options here are either the knee-jerk reaction of terminating Netflix or accepting the changes quietly. Let me clue you into a key dynamic of the marketplace of ideas, let alone any marketplace: communication is a primitive form of expressing demands for goods and services which allows suppliers to more efficiently ascertain and meet those demands.

Regarding the rest of your rambling, I will say it's amusing how you earnestly think you've successfully underscored some actual point with that embarassing display of repartee, almost cute really.

alan

Also Hank, I missed these gems when first skimming your junk:

"Any evidence that this costs Netflix more than just providing more new and recent releases?"

Are you asking me if there is any evidence that a larger catalog of selections is inherently more expensive? Do you not realize that the variable cost associated with maintaining a movie catalog naturally increases on a per-title basis? LOL.

"They've given no hints that I can see that they are trimming their catalog or reducing supply for obscure titles in particular."

No, they haven't given any hints. This is an observable fact. Items that were once available no longer are. When they've already expressed a long-term business strategy of appealing to the lowest common denominator, common sense also makes any hint unnecessary.

Hank

Look Alan, you were the first to take a hostile tone in our discussion, and then you accuse me of being the bad guy? I've responded politely to every considerate poster in this thread. You are not one, so I feel free to treat you as a "hostile witness."

Did you intentionally repeat back the "it should be easy to be succinct when you have nothing to say" quip to me as an attempt to be clever? I think not, I think you were just being clueless and repetitive.

The main protesters have not responded to me because they have nothing productive to say. Anything further they have to add will make them look petty and vindictive and lose what little support they have - they were wise to be silent. Since I have no agenda I don't have to worry about pissing people off.

You certainly have the right to try to understand the business you're working with, you were the one in being presumptuous in assuming I don't think that. Hacking Netflix was built on the philosophy of customers wanting to know more about Netflix and how to get the most from their service. I've spent most of this thread trying to let people understand the business and I've been proven right again and again. Most people don't want to really understand the complexities they just want to have their way.

What you don't have is the right to demand such explanations, explanations in such detail that it will satisfy every curiosity. To paint the company as being evil for not disclosing such details is ridiculous.

The protesters are laughable because they are such hypocrites. You guys can't agree amongst yourselves what it is that you want (improve community features, no keep community features, no just kill them already!), and you use tactics and make excuses that you have ridiculed in the past when other people have come to your Ning forum.

How often have you come to the defense of those asking for a feature change who were told "here's the cancel form, if you don't like it."

How often have you mob flagged reviews that complained about captioning or some other complaint as "not a review".

Get over yourselves.

alan

Hank, I never accused you of being a bad guy. You have substantial difficulty with elementary reading comprehension which quite plainly makes any attempt to engage with you largely a waste of time. Please stop taking disagreements with your pointless conjecture personally, and please stop attempting to define our rights and entitlements with respect to Netflix and use of this board, as I'm fairly certain no one cares what you think about the extent of their right to protest, demand explanations, or express any other form of communication. Hope this helps.

Hank

"Are you asking me if there is any evidence that a larger catalog of selections is inherently more expensive?"

No, obviously I'm not asking that. Rather than being confrontational with this "exchange of ideas" can you at least try to understand my point before you respond to it?

There is obviously some fixed cost for creating and keeping a title in the catalog, even without buying a single copy. (Just as there is a cost in keeping features and the associated data around, which you guys seem to want to gloss over.)

But we don't know anything about the individual costs of those discs. It may be that those obscure titles are more expensive (many of them certainly are) and it may be that Netflix can get bigger discounts when buying tens of thousands instead of hundreds of discs. Many obscure titles can be bought much cheaper than mainstream discs.

But even beyond that, we don't know the profitability of those discs. More obscure titles are quite possibly more profitable than new releases since Netflix does not need to buy as much of an oversupply.

We don't know the details of their purchases or usage, they're certainly not going to tell you and you really have no right to demand that data.

"No, they haven't given any hints. This is an observable fact. Items that were once available no longer are."

It's anecdotal evidence. Some titles have gone away, but many more have been added. There's absolutely nothing conclusive. We don't know the formulas they use to calculate why certain titles are bought (or re-bought), in some cases the buyers seem to just be making an educated guess.

So you've got a lot of random speculation leading you to a meaningless conclusion. Once again, even if they were changing the balance of their catalog what is it to you?

Are you going to start another futile protest and threaten to quit (sort of) if they don't stock more ultra obscure and expensive titles. Tell them to screw the 98% who want more new releases or better selection IW titles?

You're going to whine about how they're not fulfilling some imaginary contract with you because they aren't buying any more copies of a $35 criterion disc?

Good luck with that.

alan

"But we don't know anything about the individual costs of those discs."

Um, no. We do. As you admitted, "there is obviously some fixed cost for creating and keeping a title in the catalog."

"It's anecdotal evidence. Some titles have gone away."

If some titles have gone away, that's no longer anecdotal evidence, silly.

The rest of your post: "Are you going to [speculates presumptuously regarding irrelevant and unfounded accusations directed at me followed by further intent to dispense clever insult]?

Really, Hank? What exactly was the point here?

To be clear, the purpose of this reply is not to be responsive, as you have failed to provide anything worth responding to. The only purpose is precisely to show you why I'm the only one still replying to you. I pray this helps.

Hank

Alan, we're getting nowhere. You claim I have a problem with "reading comprehension", but you seem to have that problem and also one with "reality comprehension."

"Um, no. We do. As you admitted, ..."

Do you understand the difference between the fixed cost I mentioned in one sentence vs. the cost of each individual disc from the second sentence? What purpose would it be for Netflix to give you all the financial details you desire when such fundamental concepts are beyond your grasp.

"If some titles have gone away, that's no longer anecdotal evidence, silly."

You're just fucking with me, right? That is, in fact, the very definition of anecdotal evidence. Noticing that certain individual titles have gone away without considering whether new titles have been added, whether this is happening more frequently than it was 2 or 5 years ago, ....

You're a waste of time. I'll let unbiased readers (on the off chance that there are any) make their own conclusions from this exchange.

alan

"Do you understand the difference between the fixed cost I mentioned in one sentence vs. the cost of each individual disc from the second sentence? What purpose would it be for Netflix to give you all the financial details you desire when such fundamental concepts are beyond your grasp."

Who cares? Have you shown why this distinction is important? No you haven't even come close. All that matters is that expanding their catalog increases costs. Contracting their catalog decreases costs. Whatever point you thought you were making is irrelevant to this fact. Therefore eliminating any title decreases costs.

"You're just fucking with me, right? That is, in fact, the very definition of anecdotal evidence."

The disappearance of titles is not anecdotal evidence that some titles are no longer available. It's direct evidence that some titles are no longer available. Whether new titles are added is completely irrelevant to whether the elimination of older titles is anecdotal evidence of their elimination. Elimination is elimination. Use a dictionary, Hank. Nobody is fucking with you with the possible exception of your gene pool.

"I'll let unbiased readers (on the off chance that there are any) make their own conclusions from this exchange."

LOL, ok Hank.

Hank

Alan, you're seriously just putting me on, right? I know you're biased, but you can't really be that stupid. Talk about your class A trolls.

I do have a limited tolerance for dealing with the dim-witted, but you've caught me on a good day where the world (outside of you) has seemed remarkably sane.

You want to know why the distinction between fixed costs and incremental costs are important? You want to learn how increasing costs might be okay if you increase revenues by an even larger amount? I'm not an elementary economics textbook, do your own homework.

Yes, the disappearance of some titles is evidence of the disappearance of some titles. Congratulations, today you've learned the definition of a tautology.

What you haven't learned is that this is not conclusive evidence that Netflix is "reducing supply for obscure titles". And it is certainly not an "observable fact."

It's a pity that there are people who have serious concerns about Netflix and their undesignated representative comes across as a complete ignoramus (or perhaps very clever troll).

alan

LOL, Hank. I have to do homework to make sense of your ramblings? False.

"Yes, the disappearance of some titles is evidence of the disappearance of some titles. Congratulations, today you've learned the definition of a tautology."

Thank you for acknowledging that Netflix is indeed contracting its catalog of older titles. Everything else you added is nonsense.

CEDRIC

WOW ... GREEN CINE HAS ADULT VIDEOS FOR RENT....MAYBE I JOINED THE WRONG CLUB....MAYBE GREEN CINE WOULD APPRECIATE ANOTHER PAYING CUSTOMER,WHERE AS NETFLIX DOESN'T SEEN TO GIVE A DAMN...

Will

Can you idiots please stop writing these lame protest messages? I'd like to actually see a movie review when I click on a link rather than some nerd complaining that netflix updated their site and they don't like it. Seriously, STFU, you fucking nerds.

rorqualmaru

Getting extremely tired of flagging these none-reviews. Leave Netflix already and stop cluttering up the review pages with your nonsense.

sağlık

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.

NFL Jerseys

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

NFL Jerseys

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

Idol Lash Review

The blog is nicely done. Attractive written shows its quality. Keep it up in this way. Thanks a lot

Derengow

The argument that the 'friends feature' competes with other development projects is illogical and assumes that we are stupid. And the VP's idea that a large number of people would buy this is ridiculously stupid. I have business background and know that for a company such as NF a decision like this is not driven by costs. It is a top line issue - related to CONTENT CONTROL. The most subversive feature in this case is the '% like you' since it shifts information and thus power to customers. This builds the long tail and is the nightmare of any digital media company. Apple for example, is Machiavellian in the way they control content in their platforms and also avoids the 'similar to you' feature at Itunes. The only solution for this is competition. If we can take our business to the next provider Netflix would think twice but with the concentration seen recently in the Internet we are each day more at mercy of large conglomerates. Keep fighting the good fight!

Jenny

I realize this is an old thread, but I found this page today. The Friends feature is not there anymore. Here is the message I got today:

"We're sorry, most of the Netflix Community features have now been closed.

We apologize for any inconvenience. You can continue to view and edit your profile as well as update your reviews. Click here to go there now."

The URL for this message: http://www.netflix.com/FriendsClosed

The comments to this entry are closed.

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