Last fall, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had a plan: to spin off the company’s successful by-mail DVD rental business into a new outfit called Qwikster. Basically, it was Netflix with a new (and silly) name. Prices would remain the same, and all subscribers had to do was bookmark a new site. As it turned out, it wasn’t a very good plan. Hastings pulled a 180 mere weeks after announcing it, killing the split and keeping Netflix, well, Netflix.
An infographic at Frugal Dad looked at some recent examples of how social media has helped disgruntled web denizens effect change — from the backlash against website host GoDaddy over its support of the anti-piracy proposal SOPA to Bank of America’s attempt to add a new monthly debit card fee. Both companies eventually caved to Internet-borne protest.
According to the site, Netflix faced similar disdain. More than 74,000 tweets from irate subscribers popped up after the Qwikster announcement and condemned the idea. Adding insult to injury, an additional 21,000 Twitter users made fun of Netflix for not even owning the rights to @Qwikster. (That would be Jason Castillo, who, at the time, displayed a profile picture that didn’t do Netflix PR any favors.)
Of course there was more to Qwikster’s failure to launch than an overly negative reaction on Twitter. An unpopular September price hike and the loss of key streaming content drove down Netflix’s subscriber count and stock price in equal measure. But it’s hard to ignore the power of 140 characters – especially when multiplied by 100,000. (via HackingNetflix)