Plex had formally launched its Discover Together feature, which turns the universal media player app into something akin to Facebook for movie and TV lovers, complete with user profiles, and the ability to discover, share, and comment on your friends’ favorite flicks and shows. Anyone with a free Plex account can create a profile and immediately search for their friends (or possibly make new ones) on the Plex platform.
The new feature can be found within the Discover tab on the web, TV, and mobile versions of the Plex client.
If you’ve ever struggled to get decent recommendations from your favorite streaming services — even the ones that tout a fancy AI-driven recommendation engine — Plex’s Discover Together may prove a lot more useful. Instead of waiting for an algorithm (or a marketing employee) to put something interesting on your home screen, Plex lets you jump into your friends’ media-watching activity, regardless of which streaming service they happen to be using.
Within the newly revamped Discover tab are subsections for Trending, Activity, People, and Profile. The Trending tab is effectively the old Discover home page, with highlighted media from your selected streaming services. Activity is where you’ll see the most recent activity shared by your Plex friends, while the People tab lets you see your existing friends as well as Plex’s suggestions for friends you may want to add. The My Profile tab is all about your shared and private activity on the platform.
Activities like rating a movie or show, adding a title to your watchlist, or simply indicating that you’ve watched something are all potential areas for interactions with your Plex friends. If a friend sees that you’ve given John Wick 4 a five-star rating, they can comment on that activity, beginning a thread that the two of you can use to discuss the movie. If your other friends want, they’ll be able to join the discussion too, much like a Facebook post.
When you share a title, you can share it with one person from your friend list, or create a group of friends to share it with. Anyone in the group can then comment on the shared show or movie, which could be a good way to keep some of the nerdier chats just among your friends who will appreciate them.
Commenting is possible from both the web and mobile Plex clients, while TV versions of Plex will be limited to viewing activities and comments.
Since privacy is obviously key to keeping Discover Together from becoming the Wild West, once your profile has been created, you can set privacy levels for your Plex friends list, your watchlist, your ratings, and your watch history. These can be set to Friends Only, Friends of Friends, and Private. There is currently no fully public activity in Discover Together. At any time, you can mute or entirely block a Plex friend.
For the moment, being able to leverage your circle of Plex friends for something to watch is a manual process — you’ll have to take a dive into your friends’ activity to see what they’ve watched and enjoyed. However, Plex is looking at future enhancements that will make this process more automated by proactively finding you movies and shows that your friends have enjoyed.
The Plex app is available for almost every device and platform, including game consoles, streaming media devices, smart TVs, smartphones, and tablets, as well as on the web.
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