One Netflix feature is probably older than TikTok and many other apps that exist today. The streaming giant introduced the Profiles feature on August 1, 2013, to address situations where account sharing messed up the experience for many users.
"At the time we wanted to solve a problem that nearly every member was having. You want to watch something on Netflix but your homepage has been taken over by your scare-seeking spouse or your YA-loving teens," the company said.
A Netflix profile is a separate space where you can maintain your own watch history, get personalized recommendations, and have a separate watchlist for movies and TV shows. It lets you set your preferred settings for features like autoplay, subtitles, etc.
For instance, you can choose to autoplay the next episode when watching a series or pick a different maturity rating than your sibling who has their own profile on the same Netflix account.
At the time of launch, Netflix allowed users to have up to five profiles per account and it has remained the same after a decade. In fact, the company which didn't seem allergic to password sharing in the past had a change of heart last year. It started going after users who use a common account but don't live in the same house.
That's when it launched the Profile Transfers feature that lets you migrate all your Netflix data to a new or existing account. While Netflix allows users to sublet their accounts for a fee, there are some legalities that prohibit users from sharing passwords outside their households.
Nonetheless, profiles remain among the most used Netflix features. "This feature clearly struck a chord. Today, a majority of Netflix accounts have at least one additional profile," the company said.
Over the years, the streaming giant has improved the feature by offering a choice of profile icons based on popular Netflix movies and shows such as Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Sacred Games, Money Heist, Wednesday, and more.
Netflix's download feature also works with profiles so you can watch your favorite titles offline without shaking things up for other profile holders on your account. By default, anyone who knows your Netflix password can check out your profile, but you can add a PIN to keep your Netflix activity private.
More recently, the streaming giant introduced a new hub called My Netflix inside user profiles. It acts as a one-stop destination where you can find notifications, My List titles, watch history, titles you have liked, and trailers you have watched.