In late 2016, Netflix rolled out video previews to its app for TVs and streaming boxes, after testing them for a large part of the year with a smaller group of users. Some users weren’t happy about it at first, but Netflix’s own research showed that it meant viewers spent less time browsing and more time watching. Today the company announced in a blog post that video previews are finally rolling out to its mobile apps.
Initially, the previews are only available on the Netflix iOS app, though the company says previews will be coming to its Android app soon. The bite-sized previews are usually trailers, and are always about 30 seconds in length, so you don’t need to worry about committing for too long. The videos even display vertically, so you don’t need to rotate your phone every time you want to take a quick look at a preview.
The previews are shown one at a time in a slideshow-style format. If the preview happens to be for something you like, you can tap to easily add it to your list, while if it turns out that the show or movie isn’t for you, a quick swipe will have you on your way to the next preview. These previews are optimized for mobile devices, so they should play quickly, even if you aren’t on Wi-Fi.
Like other forms of Netflix recommendations, previews are personalized based on what you watch and what you’ve rated. This means that you shouldn’t end up wasting a lot of time watching previews that probably never would have interested you in the first place. Overall, this seems like something Netflix should have done a long time ago, since it lets you choose something to watch before you even make it to your TV.
This should make finding some time to watch on Netflix easier than ever, unless someone has inadvertently messed with your recommendations, but fortunately there’s an easy fix for that. If you’d still rather have a more personal touch when it comes to finding what to watch, be sure to check our list of the best movies and best TV shows you can watch on Netflix.