Talking tech since 2003

For some, the Netflix Instant Queue is a collection of interesting looking movies discovered while browsing the service. For others, it’s a “to-do list,” of sorts, compiled over time after hearing friends say “You have to watch ______.”

If the Instant Queue functionality is close to your heart, fear not — it’s not really going anywhere. But the name is. Netflix is doing away with “Instant Queue” in favor of a new title: “My List.”

new-season-tagThe change from Instant Queue to My List isn’t purely cosmetic. Netflix has also made My List a lot smarter than the Instant Queue was. You’ll still be able to add titles you want to watch, and Netflix makes it easy to do so by selecting “Add to My List” when browsing. But Netflix will also use algorithms to intelligently sort your list, placing movies it thinks you’ll want to watch first at the front.

If you’d rather not relinquish control of your list to the magical computer brain at Netflix, though, you can turn off the automatic My List sorting and go back to ordering titles yourself.

Netflix has also added some helpful bits to make sure you don’t miss out on new or soon-to-expire content. The service will display special tags below TV shows that have new seasons, as well as tags for TV shows and movies that will soon be removed from Netflix due to a content license running out (If I could interrupt myself for just a second — weren’t those “NEW SEASON” tags already there? I swear I’ve seen them before). If you’ve ever had a title vanish from your Instant Queue inexplicably, it’s likely because Netflix’s license to stream it expired. The tag is a small but helpful tool to make sure you prioritize watching a certain movie or TV show before it disappears from Netflix for good.

The roll out of My List starts today, August 21, and will continue over the next two weeks. I’m browsing the Netflix site now and I still have the now-obsolete Instant Queue, so it hasn’t reached me yet. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

As far as the new season and expiring content tags go, they’ll hit the Netflix website first, but will roll out to Netflix apps on other devices over the next few months.

If you happen to get the new My List feature, or you just want to share your thoughts about it, be sure to drop us a line below. In the meantime, I’ll be anxiously refreshing my browser window.

(h/t GigaOM)

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