Having reached critical mass, Netflix shows are now influencing culture — whether that’s prompting everyone to “tidy up” or causing chaos with “Bird Box”-inspired challenges. For good or bad, what happens on Netflix is talked about, memed and shared across the social media landscape. Today, Netflix is launching a new feature aimed at better inserting its brand into those online conversations: Instagram Story integration.
Launching first on iOS, Netflix users will be able to share their favorite movies and shows to their Instagram Story right from the Netflix mobile app.
The feature will add the title’s custom art to a users’ Instagram Story, where it remains visible for 24 hours. The Story can also be customized with other options, like a user poll, for example.
If the viewer has the Netflix app installed on their iPhone, they’ll see a “watch on Netflix” link in the Story that takes them to the show’s or movie’s page in the Netflix app when tapped.
This isn’t the first time you could share a show from Netflix’s app to a social platform — that’s been supported for some time. However, the existing experience will pull up iOS’s “share sheet” (the built-in sharing function in the iOS operating system).
According to a screenshot provided by Netflix, however, the new sharing feature is now a part of the Netflix app itself.
After tapping “share,” a screen appears with various options, including WhatsApp, Messages, Messenger, Twitter, Line and more, in addition to the newly added “Instagram Stories.”
The launch follows Facebook’s introduction of an option last year that allows third-party apps to share their in-app content to Instagram Stories. The idea was to provide users with an alternative to screenshotting what they wanted to share from other apps — like a song, a video, a playlist, etc. — to Instagram Stories. It’s also meant to provide a more seamless experience for the Story’s viewers, as they’re able to tap the Story to engage with the shared content — while also giving the brand more control over the look-and-feel of what’s being shared.
In Netflix’s case, it’s branding shared title art with the name of the show or film, as well as a teaser or slogan, and the words “Netflix Original,” where relevant. (The feature works with all titles, not just originals.)
The feature could prompt more word-of-mouth recommendations between friends and followers on Instagram, whose Stories platform alone is bigger than Snapchat, reaching more than 400 million users. And it could help content go viral within a certain fan base or demographic — like teen girl viewers or sci-fi fans, for instance — as prominent Instagram accounts shared the Netflix show.
“We’re always on the lookout for ways to make it easier for members to share the Netflix titles they’re obsessing about and help them discover something new to watch,” said Netflix in a statement about the launch.
Instagram Stories integration is launching today on iOS to Netflix users worldwide. An Android version is in the works.
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