August 21, 2013, 3:43 PM — Netflix is making another big push into personalization for streaming users with a new "watch it later" queue that automatically sorts titles based on your viewing preferences. The new feature, called "My List," is rolling out to all users worldwide over the next two weeks. My List will sit in the top row of your Netflix home screen, pushing the top 10 suggested titles section one row down.
My List is only available on Netflix.com for now, but will roll out to mobile apps and third-party devices in the coming months.
The new feature replaces the current "Instant Queue" option--a holdover from Netflix's DVD-by-mail service that never really caught hold with streaming-only users. Unlike Instant Queue, My List ranks the movies and TV shows you save based on what Netflix thinks you're most likely to want to watch first.
Good-bye Instant Queue
The current Instant Queue, by comparison, lists items based on when you've added them to your list, with newly queued items at the bottom. The end result with Instant Queue is a long list of titles to watch, with the more interesting videos towards the bottom of the list.
Anyone who was an Instant Queue fan, however, can still have manual control over My List by turning off the automatic ranking feature under their "My Account" settings.
Adding content to My List is the same as using Instant Queue: hover your mouse over a TV show or movie you find interesting and then click the "+ My List" button that appears in the pop-up window.
Netflix is also adding a few handy features to My List. As with any other title on your home screen, you'll see the "New Episodes" banner at the bottom of the show's art whenever its catalog is updated.
But more importantly, when a show added to My List is set to disappear from Netflix , you'll also receive an alert that time is running out to enjoy the show or movie. That's an extremely handy feature that has largely been the purview of sites dedicated to the task such as InstantWatcher.com.
If you don't use the My List feature it will slowly drop down into lower rows on your home screen.
Call it personalization or hyper-personalization, Netflix's My List is yet another feature designed to help you get the most out of Netflix. Earlier in August, Netflix rolled out single account multi-user profiles to all users worldwide. The feature allows family members to separate their viewing habits and helps Netflix to more precisely target title recommendations for each user profile.
The company is also currently testing its version of Siri in Max, a digital personal assistant that helps you find something to watch by coming up with suggestions on-demand. Max is only available on the PlayStation 3 during this initial test phase.
One thing Netflix didn't note in its My List announcement is that the menu at the very top of the home screen on Netflix.com appears to have changed. The company has removed the "Instant Queue" option and replaced it with a drop down list called "Taste Profile," based on screenshots posted to the Netflix blog.
Most likely this new menu includes the rating wizard that helps Netflix get a sense of your viewing preferences by ranking popular titles. It probably houses the "Taste Preferences" questionnaire that also helps Netflix refine its recommendations. Netflix did not specify what other menu options might now be housed under the "Taste Profile" list or if all users would see the new menu option.