Netflix decided to introduce its own take on Snapchat and Instagram stories after it began to roll out 30-second preview videos for their mobile subscribers.
The previews look much like Instagram's Stories because the thumbnails are circular and the content plays with virtual videos, so there’s no need to move your phone to the side. Added to that, they play like a slideshow, allowing users to swipe or tap to skip to the next video without returning to the main screen.
Shows that appeal can be stored for later viewing with a button that adds them to your list. The feature is hitting the Netflix iOS app (which is already available for those who use Netflix on their iPhone), and the company said it will be “coming soon” to Android.
The launch is long-awaited. Netflix began offering previews on the web and via its TV app, and the company said the new feature will help those who tune in via their phone to find more content to watch.
“Years of testing has made it clear that video previews help our members browse less and discover new content more quickly. With the launch of mobile previews, we are bringing a video browse experience to your mobile phone in a fun and mobile-optimised way,” the company explained in a blog post.
Netflix is on a run of late, with the company closing in on a $150 billion market cap thanks to growing subscriber numbers.
The company added 7.41 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2018 – around two million of which were U.S.-based – and it has forecast an additional 6.2 million more joining in the next quarter. That means the company has nearly 119 million customers, as its huge international expansion from two years ago begins to kick in.
The company also continues to see some pretty strong streaming revenue growth. Total sales hit $3.6 billion in Q1, up around 43 percent year-on-year.