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Netflix Pulls Facebook Link

12 Jan, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix said it is halting a two-year-old program with Facebook that encouraged subscribers to share movie and television program ratings on the social media behemoth’s website.

In a Jan. 11 post, Paul Willerer, director of product management with the Los Gatos, Calif.-based online disc rental pioneer, said the link was stopped due in large part to indifference from subscribers.

“Very few of you have signed on for this so we’re pulling it back today to regroup, which includes testing new concepts, and ultimately finding a more appealing program for all of our members,” Willerer said in a post.

Willerer said new efforts would begin encouraging subscribers to become Facebook “friends” and utilize shared information regarding movie and TV program rentals.

From responses posted on Netflix’s blog, it probably shouldn’t bother.

“Maybe you should try something other than Facebook,” wrote one respondent. “I, for one, will never sign up for Facebook integration. Sorry.”

“Just because a large number of people use something don't mean it's the best solution,” wrote another. “I agree with others here that the Facebook integration was a bad call.”

Indeed, Facebook in 2009 was court-ordered to shutter a software program called Bacon that allowed Facebook friends to share personal consumer habits. Controversy erupted when it was found that Facebook members, including Blockbuster By Mail subscribers, were automatically included in the program, instead of voluntarily opting in.

Facebook was ordered to pay $9.5 million to a foundation that funds projects promoting online privacy, safety and security.

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