Netflix Quietly Drops ‘Surprise Me’ Content Recommendation Feature

Netflix has shuttered the “Surprise Me” button that enabled users to quickly find content recommendations when launched in 2021. The feature was quietly discontinued in January, according to the Netflix website.

The streamer has long been an industry pioneer when it comes to content recommendation, beginning in 2006 with the Netflix Prize, which offered $1 million to anyone who could develop an algorithm to better predict user ratings for movies based on previous ratings. Netflix at the time was still largely a by-mail DVD rental company and had not yet produced original content.

Since then, Netflix ushered in binge viewing, which afforded compete season episode access at launch date, in addition to turning a blind eye to password sharing. Both strategies have been tweaked, with password sharing now being phased out. Netflix also introduced a lower-priced ad-supported subscription option to lure/retain budget-conscious consumers.

“We will continue to explore other ways to give members more options and ways to explore and discover content they want to watch,” Netflix said in a media statement about ending “Surprise Me,” first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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