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Netflix Tests New TikTok-Style Feature for Kids

Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

By: Nick Gambino

Netflix just started testing a new feature in their iOS app aimed at kids. Taking a page out of the TikTok and Instagram Reels playbook, the new feature is essentially a feed of short video content that previews what they would see in Netflix’s vast children-friendly library.

As it’s called, Kids Clips has a twist that viewer-hungry platforms like TikTok wouldn’t dare try. They limit how many clips users are able to watch at any given time. Users (kids) will only be able to watch between 10 and 20 clips at a time.

This seems to be a moral decision considering how they are targeting young children with the feature. By capping how many video clips kids can watch in a sitting, they prevent it from being too addictive. That said, it’s really an advertising ploy to get the user to seek out longer-form versions of the movie or show.

This is actually an expansion of the Fast Laughs feature Netflix started using a few months back. That short-clip feature focuses on comedy clips, primarily from Netflix’s cache of stand-up specials and comedy shows like Big Mouth.

“We’re always looking for new ways to entertain and make discovery easier for members,” Director of Product Innovation for Netflix, Patrick Flemming, said back in March when they launched Fast Laughs.

The only real difference between the new children-focused feature and Fast Laughs, apart from the genre of content, is that Kids Clips is meant to be viewed horizontally.

This landscape viewing format is very different from TikTok and Reels which are eternally linked to the vertical format. Kids Clips is meant to be more in line with Netflix’s preferred landscape format which covers the whole screen and is more immersive.

The new feature was originally spotted in hidden code by Steve Moser, an iOS developer, and reported by Bloomberg News. Per Moser, when the streaming company was working on this short form feature internally, they were calling it “Bits” instead of “Clips.” One can see how that might be problematic.

Netflix confirmed Kids Clips will launch this week, rolling out as a test in North America, Latin America, Australia, and Ireland.

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