Just in time for the weekend, Netflix today announced the launch of a new service called Flixtape, which the company describes as a way to make short playlists of your favorite Netflix titles. “It’s like a mixtape, but for Netflix,” the site explains. The new tool lets you create these lists based on a genre or theme of some sort, then share them with friends or family over text message, email or social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
There are a number of ways you can use something like Flixtape. You can make your own mixes of favorite movies or shows, just for reference’s sake, or you could create curated recommendations for friends.
Unfortunately, Netflix has decided to limit the number of titles that can be added to each Flixtape. The editor allows you to replace and remove any of the three titles it suggests, then you can search for and add up to six total titles. While it’s true that “mixtapes” are not supposed to include dozens upon dozens of entries, it also seems odd to have an artificial limit in place given the potential to create long-standing collections here.
That said, Flixtape is still fun to use. And it’s a clever way to work around the fact that Netflix’s recommendations system doesn’t effectively tap into our social connections as well as it could. Today, Netflix shows you what’s trending and what’s popular with friends, but has failed to offer a simple way for members to share more personal, word-of-mouth recommendations with each other individually. Flixtape solves that problem.
Like the mixtapes of days past, Flixtapes are meant to be personal and customizable, says Netflix. You’re able to customize their “cover” with the title, doodles and even add the name of the person you’re sharing it with. These elements can be dragged around the screen.
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If you’re stumped on what to add, Flixtape’s website offers a variety of pre-made lists, like “The Family Reunion Flixtape” or “The Besties or Frenemies Flixtape,” for example. You can also push a button to get suggestions when you pick a given topic.
Later, when the recipient opens their Flixtape, they can see the list overlaid on top of background imagery for the show or movie in question, and then can click to watch the title on Netflix, assuming that they’re a member.
At this time, it doesn’t appear that Flixtape will be built into the main Netflix application itself, however.
This is not the first time Netflix has launched a standalone site aimed at promoting its service in content in recent months. In May, for example, the company launched its own speed test website, Fast.com. But in that case, its mission was more to shame poor-performing ISPs, while Flixtape is more of a social effort.