Your Facebook Friends Can See What You're Watching on Netflix Now

Brace yourselves and your news feeds: Netflix is finally giving you and your buddies the chance to announce what you're watching on Facebook.

That functionality has been available to non-US residents since 2011, but Netflix has been cautious when it comes to the States because of decrepit laws that could've landed it in hot water. A refresher of the problem:

The 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act prohibits publishing video rental history. The bizarre law was motivated by paranoid politicians (Robert Bork), and makes it legally complicated for services like Hulu and Netflix to integrate social features that we're used to from other services. (Spotify, for example, publishes the songs you play without thinking twice.)

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Fortunately, Obama finally signed a bill in January which changed that. From today, users will see two new rows on their Netflix home page. They'll be able to see what their friends have been viewing, and also be able to post updates to Facebook about what they're watching.

While it might clutter your shiny new Facebook news feed, it's probably going to do wonders for Netflix, by helping cement the brand's name across the social network. Just, whatever you do, remember that not all your friends need to know that you're currently on a Bunheads bender. [Bloomberg]

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DISCUSSION

It's hilarious how quickly something like this can get pushed through Congress and yet when it comes to something like benefits for 9/11 responders, we get months and months or arguing. I hate this country sometimes.

As far as this goes, I like that it's opt-out instead of opt-in. I haven't tied my Facebook account to Netflix and I won't be doing that. Are there really people out there who've just been foaming at the mouth, waiting for their opportunity to let Netflix post what they're watching on their Facebook?