Netflix doesn’t appear to be having the best week when it comes to PR. A couple days ago the company rolled out a redesign, which has been met with overwhelming hostility from users. It’s not completely unanimous, but it’s clear that a lot of people are pissed, and some are saying they’re going to cancel their accounts.
To me, this seem a like a bit of an overreaction, but some people really, really take user interface seriously (something we should all consider in on our online efforts).
On top of that, Netflix has been named as one of many companies with mobile apps that have security vulnerabilities. Security firm ViaForensics found that the Android app stored user names and passwords in unencrypted form. Movie queues were also reportedly exposed. The Wall Street Journal reports:
A Netflix spokesman said the company was aware of the vulnerability and is making a change in the app that will also secure the usernames and passwords. Netflix wouldn’t specify a date for the change but the company said it is a priority.
A recent post on the Netflix API Developer Blog indicates that Genres are getting replaced on June 15. It will be interesting to see how well this goes over with users in light of the backlash related to the redesign. The current genres will be replaced by a new classification model.
“This new model will be more flexible and more well-tuned to the diverse expectations of a global movie-watching audience,” said Netflix’s David Gross.
It remains to be seen how much this change will be felt on the front-end of things. Many of the complaints about the redesign have been about the browsing experience, including the lack of a browse-by-decade feature.
A recent report found that Netflix was crushing its competition, and it will soon be getting into exclusive content, which probably won’t hurt either. I expect Netflix’s bad publicity this week will blow over, as bad publicity tends to do.
Netflix stock is slightly down in after hours trading.