The Netflix streaming movie and TV show service will soon have support for Facebook features but Netflix's US users won't have that kind of support, at least for a while. In a post on the company's blog site, Netflix's Tom Willerer said that both Canada and Latin America's Facebook and Netflix users will be able to link their accounts together. Once that feature is enabled, your Facebook friends will be able to see which movies and TV shows on Netflix you are watching and vise versa. You can see how this feature works in the above screenshot. This new feature will, of course, be optional for Facebook/Netflix users and should go live by the end of September.
So why won't US users be able to take advantage of this new feature? According to yet another Netflix blog post, the company's director of Government Relations Michael Drobac writes, "Unfortunately, we will not be offering this feature in the U.S. because a 1980’s law creates some confusion over our ability to let U.S. members automatically share the television shows and movies they watch with their friends on Facebook." That law is called the Video Privacy Protection Act.
However, Drobac adds that some US lawmakers are trying to pass a bill, H.R. 2471, that should allow Netflix and Facebook in the US to make this feature available for US users. The bill itself, if passed into law, would allow a "video tape service provider" like Netflix to "obtain a consumer’s informed, written consent on an ongoing basis and that consent may be obtained through the Internet." Netflix has set up a web page for people to quickly contact law makers in the US to urge them to pass H.R. 2471.
Image via Netflix