On Thursday, President Obama signed an amendment to the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) into law. And in affect, US Facebook users will soon see their friends’ video watching activity, and possibly be be able to share videos they’re watching on Netflix with their friends.
VPPA originally “prohibited “a video tape service provider” from revealing customer information without the customer’s written consent.” But it came into question recently because of vague language it wasn’t clear if Internet video provider, Netflix, would be affected by the law. The video service already launched social capabilities in other countries and reported boosts to subscriptions as a result. After nearly two years in Congress, the law was finally passed with some specific language that affects the opt-in and opt-out features of the Netflix app – aiming to make it as simple as possible for users to decide share their info with Netflix or not. (more at CNN)
Why I’m Curious
This change will be huge for Facebook and Netflix. Listening to Spotify songs at the same time as your friends is one thing, but sharing a video is a whole other. It goes back the ideas from F8 that aimed to make Facebook more of hub for their users’ Internet experience – if you’re sharing a video with someone, you’ve got to stay put for an hour or so. Of course, Facebook will also be learning a lot more about their users through their Netflix viewing history. The change in usage will most likely bring some new opportunities for brands to interact with users connected by the video sharing experience.