Netflix has long won praise for its recommendations system that gives you suggestions for movies and shows to watch based on your viewing history. The company revealed on Wednesday, however, that it’s taken steps to make its recommendations better than ever by making them truly global for the first time. In short, international borders are no longer barriers to finding movies from people who have similar tastes to your own around the world.
This is important for Netflix users because it gives them a wider pool of potential recommendations to choose from. It will be particularly beneficial in countries that have just gotten access to Netflix for the first time as they will no longer have to get recommendations that are based on tiny sample sizes but rather are based on like-minded viewers from every country where Netflix is available.
“Simply put, tapping into global insights makes our personalized recommendations even better because now our members benefit from like-minded viewers no matter where they are in the world,” explains Carlos Gomez-Uribe, who is Netflix’s vice president of personalization algorithms. “While this is especially helpful if a member is in a new or smaller market, we’re also able to better serve members in larger, more established markets who have highly specific or niche tastes.”
As an example, Gomez-Uribe points out that while there are obviously a lot of anime fans in Japan, Americans who also like this particular genre should also be able to benefit from their recommendations.
To get the full story on how Netflix has changed its recommendations system, check out this link that goes over all the important technical details.