Netflix's Watch Instantly streaming service in the US started with the same queue-based experience users were familiar with from its disc-by-mail rentals for bookmarking titles to watch later. But, internationally, the option has never existed. Now the experience is changing everywhere, as Netflix replaces the old queues with "My List." Outside the US subscribers will notice the biggest change, as they're able to curate their own viewing lists instead of relying solely on search or the service's automatically generated genre lists. Otherwise the selection process is mostly the same as we've come to expect, with a "+ My List" button single click adding it to the list of up to 500 items in each user's profile. My List should pop up on individual accounts over the next couple of weeks, check after the break for a breakdown of all the incoming changes and a quick video preview.
Instead of remaining in a static queue (or suffering entirely random changes) Netflix is applying its algorithms to users lists, automatically sorting each one by what it believes people will want to watch next. Director of Product Innovation Michael Spiegelman says in a blog post that members preferred this feature in tests, but if you're committed to the DIY method then it can be disabled in favor of manual sorting. If you don't want to use My Lists at all, it will just drop lower in the usual rows of content and eventually disappear entirely. One other tweak is a new flag for content that's close to expiring, although like the company's new profiles feature, it will take some time to roll out to all devices. One other tweak we see is more prominent placement for that Facebook Like button, however the company wouldn't say anything about Spotify-style list sharing or other tweaks that might come next. We haven't had a chance to try it out for ourselves yet, but overall it appears to be a much-needed feature for many, and a decent streamlining of what's available for those who already have queues.