Netflix Social Sharing Arriving In 2013

27 December 2012, 9:20 am EST By Prarthito Maity email: Mobile & Apps

Netflix is back online with the company confirming that it has solved every issue related to the streaming service. However, that's not the only good news from the Netflix front.

Per reports, Netflix has announced that it will be introducing new social sharing features for its U.S.-based customers in 2013, just days after the Senate passing a bill related to that. The new sharing features from Netflix, per Talking Points Memo, will be available for fans after Congress passed a bill just before the holiday break that removes previous restrictions that prevented companies from sharing customer video rental history.

"We are pleased that the Senate moved so quickly after the House," a Netflix spokesperson told TPM in a statement. "We plan to introduce social features for our US members in 2013, after the president signs it."

Netflix, since 2011, has stated that it wants its American customers to have the ability to connect their Netflix accounts with their Facebook accounts and share their viewed movies with Friends online via the Netflix Facebook App.

Netflix already allows customers in Canada and Latin America to post what shows they're watching through Facebook's "frictionless sharing", and this is the same way these users can share the music they're listening to or articles they're reading. However, this was made illegal in the U.S., as far as videos are concerned, mainly due to the provisions in the Video Privacy Protection Act.

As far as the bill is concerned, H.R. 6671 serves as an amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act, and loosens up the language of the Act by allowing users to give their consent for the sharing of viewing information online. The Act, previously, also mandated that permission be given in writing only.

However, the new bill, which was first passed by the House of Representatives before being approved by the Senate in no time, now amends the VPPA so that customers may have the option of sharing their video data using online means rather than requiring written consent.

The previous limitations imposed by the VPPA have cause problems for companies like Netflix and Facebook in the past. "Outside the US, users can share the programs they're watching on Netflix with Facebook frictionlessly, much like they do with music or articles they're reading. The provisions in the VPPA have prevented that from happening stateside with video, resulting in Netflix lobbying Congress to amend the rules," The Verge earlier reported.

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