August 1, 2013, 2:37 PM

Netflix adds personal profiles to customize its offerings for each member of a household

The profiles also connect with Facebook to give friend-based video recommendations.

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Streaming video provider Netflix Inc. has added a feature to tease out personal preferences among multiple viewers who share a single account.

Starting today, up to five viewers in a household on one Netflix account can each create their own profiles for storing recently viewed and in-queue videos, the company says. That will allow Netflix to in turn give them personalized TV show and movie recommendations so that, for example, a working mom who likes chick flicks will not see movie recommendations meant for her horror-obsessed teenage son when she logs in.

“Now everyone in your home can have their own Netflix experience, built around the TV shows and movies they enjoy,” says Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt. “No longer will your Netflix suggestions be mixed up with those of your kids, a significant other, roommates or house guests.”

The profiles can also connect to a customer’s Facebook account to show her video recommendations based on what her friends are watching, Netflix says. Additionally, instead of doling out the five profiles each to a family member, Netflix customers can set them for other uses, such as “family movie night,” to help find and queue videos for those specific needs, the company says.

“We continually innovate and are proud to deliver an even better, more personal Netflix experience,” Hunt says.

Netflix began rolling out the feature to some customers today and says it will be available to everyone within two weeks. For now, customers can create profiles only via Netflix’s web site and through its app on the PlayStation 3 game console; Netflix will add the feature to its apps on other devices over the coming months, it says. Once a profile is created, however, a customer can access it on any device that supports Netflix, including the iPad and iPhone, Xbox 360 and Wii console game consoles, and smart TVs like the Apple TV, it says.

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