Last week Michael Spiegelman, Director of Product Management at Netflix, unveiled on the company’s official blog that change was coming to how subscribers browsed for movies. The new layout, Spiegelman promised, would “make it easier for [viewers] to find something to watch instantly.”
Thousands of Netflix users disagreed, and promptly flooded the announcement’s comment section with complaints, critiques and threats to cancel their subscriptions.
“Starting today, most members who watch instantly will see a new interface that provides more focus on the TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix,” Spiegelman explained in the announcement. “The title images are larger, there are more of them on the page and play buttons appear when you hover your mouse over the title images. Star ratings, information and other functions are available when you mouse over the title images.” Additional rows were being added too, he said – each containing more content than before.
Sounds great, right? Users resoundingly said, “nope.”
“I hate the new PS3 Instant interface,” wrote Jim. “You only see the top-level categories, and only 75 movies in each category. Any movies that don’t show up in those 75 movies in a top level category must be searched for.”
Complaints weren’t limited to games console users.
“I can only see four movie boxes at once on my PC,” said an anonymous user. Others complained that the new scroll feature is headache-inducing and an eye-strain.
“Michael Spiegelman, did you hire monkeys as your test group?,” asked one particularly incensed subscriber who ended their rant with a curt “f*ck you.”
A common question asked by dissenters is why the update wasn’t optional; many pointed out the age-old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, it doesn’t seem to be an oversight by the streaming movie giant. Recent comments from Netflix don’t bode well for those hoping against hope for the company to either completely revert the user interface back to the way it was, or at least offer subscribers a choice between the two.
According to Home Media Magazine, who noticed the growing dissatisfaction over the weekend, Steve Swasey, Vice President of Corporate Communications, defended the tweaks and believes people will come around. “Change can be unsettling for some, but not the vast majority,” he said.
Ironic, considering there are currently around 5,000 comments at the official Netflix blog alone about the new model – the majority of which dislike the changes. A recent poll at The Huffington Post shows over 50% of respondents “loathe” the new Netflix, with only 15% saying that they “love” it.
So, what will it take for Netflix to listen? Though one critic quipped that the company is “waiting on 10,000 negative comments” until it changes it back, for now the company is sticking to its guns even as numerous complainants threaten to pull their subscriptions.
Let us know what you think of the changes in the comment section.