Does NetFlix add movies to your Instant Queue?
November 7, 2010 4:31 PM   Subscribe

Does NetFlix ever automagically add movies to your instant queue based on other movies you have added or liked?

This is a conversation we have in our house about once a month (bear in mind we have about 350+ movies in our instant queue at any given time):
"Did you add this one?"
"I don't think so - I thought you added it. Seems like your kind of thing."
"No, I didn't add it - at least I don't think I did."
Has anyone else experienced this?
posted by jrdixey to Technology (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hasn't happened to me, and sounds unlikely. I'll bet at least one of you sometimes adds movies you're not that familiar with. For instance, maybe Netflix recommends a movie to you, you click on it, notice it got a good rating and looks interesting, so you add it. But you just paid attention to this for 30 seconds, you didn't remember the title or image in any vivid way, so you don't remember it later.
posted by John Cohen at 4:35 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks John, that's been my theory too, but I wanted to verify that it isn't something NetFlix does.
posted by jrdixey at 4:38 PM on November 7, 2010

I've experienced it but only because I have three children under the age of seven.

Getting a netflix dvd is like getting a magical regular Christmas present. But when you open one up, salivating at the mouth, so excited you're almost shaking, and its an episode of Dora the Explorer THATS AVAILABLE ON STREAMING, you start to wonder if its worth living anymore.
posted by allthewhile at 4:38 PM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I've had Netflix for many, many years and use it very actively. This has never, ever happened to me. I am the only one who changes my queue.
posted by kbanas at 4:39 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is called "being forgetful". Happens to me all the time. I can honestly not recall putting most of the movies on my queue.
posted by two lights above the sea at 4:41 PM on November 7, 2010

Yep, never had this happen. However, NetFlix has definitely been making it easier and easier to inadvertently add movies to your queue.
posted by griphus at 4:44 PM on November 7, 2010

When we just updated the xbox 360 software, Netflix added something to our instant queue that is on our DVD queue. Not sure if they did this because it was only recently available streaming or if this is even what you're referring to, but it was odd.
posted by piratebowling at 4:50 PM on November 7, 2010

Also, sometimes you'll have added something a million years ago, and it went unavailable and so disappeared from your queue, and then it became available again, and it hey presto!s to the end of your queue.
posted by endless_forms at 4:55 PM on November 7, 2010

Just the other day, my wife said "You know what Netflix needs? A place to say how something got in your queue." It seems that pretty regularly, a friend will recommend something and we'll add it to our queue on the spot, and then completely forget the movie and the fact that it was recommended.
posted by adamrice at 5:04 PM on November 7, 2010

Sometimes you can "save" a DVD to your queue and it will automatically add it when it becomes available (like with newly released films and slated runs of classics never before put on dvd), and sometimes a movie you have added will stop being available in the format your queued it for and it will get re-added once it is further available. This happens with the streaming stuff, specifically the Starz Play things, quite often. But I've never had anything be automatically added to any queue. You can find the stuff that's no longer available as "saved", I believe, below your queues, along with a list of stuff that's in your physical queue that is available streaming.
posted by Mizu at 5:17 PM on November 7, 2010

This has happened to us! We've had Netflix for approximately 10 years, and have the "Did you add this?" conversation perhaps 2-3 times per year.
posted by onepot at 5:45 PM on November 7, 2010

I've never added anything to my Netflix Instant Queue, and yet there are 38 movies in it. I think they are all movies that I've added to my DVD queue, though.
posted by desuetude at 5:55 PM on November 7, 2010

I've received stuff I'm 100% sure I didn't add to my queue before.
posted by fshgrl at 6:00 PM on November 7, 2010

Response by poster: Hmm. So there are some other people who have "mystery adds". I'm still going with the adding-and-then-not-remembering-it theory, though.
posted by jrdixey at 6:08 PM on November 7, 2010

I subscribed to Netflix since its inception, never had this happen. Only time I get something odd is if my husband adds it and forgets that he added it.
posted by wandering_not_lost at 6:50 PM on November 7, 2010

Yes, my girlfriend and I have at least 3 instances where our shared instant queue had things on it that neither of us added. The first time, I thought it was an errant mouse click or a forgotten mouse click, but after the third, which we both saw happen while looking for things to add to our DVD queues, we're convinced otherwise.
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:56 PM on November 7, 2010

No experience with Netflix, but in college when a buddy left his computer logged into a Netflix-like service we did once add some 80s gay porn to his queue about 100 items down. You know, as a prank.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:54 AM on November 8, 2010

Just another voice here to say that this has never happened to me. I've had Netflix for 4 or 5 years, and am the sole account holder. It sounds like the mystery adds are all happening on shared accounts, which suggests that some party is adding the movies and then denying it or being forgetful.
posted by Marla Singer at 4:43 AM on November 8, 2010

Lots of folks seem to be missing that the question is specifically about the instant queue. Assuming jrdixey also has a DVD queue (he didn't specifically say, and some accounts don't), then yes, this has happened to me. Something in the DVD queue or DVD "saved" area becomes available on "Watch Instantly" and gets automatically added to that instant queue.

Next time it happens in your instant queue, flip over the DVD side and see if it's also over there. I bet it is, and has been for a while, but just became available on instant.
posted by NortonDC at 6:09 AM on November 8, 2010

This just happened to us this passed weekend. Neither my husband nor I had even heard of move that had been added. Something is afoot!
posted by Hop123 at 8:22 AM on November 8, 2010

So everyone's pretty much covered it, but, just to confirm, no, Netflix does not automatically add titles to the instant queue. When we first introduced the instant queues, we did populate them with IW-available titles from the DVD queues, but that was in May 2008, and it was a one-time thing.

For what it's worth, when we research the accounts of people who call to ask this question, we generally find that (in order of commonness): A) they added it themselves and forgot about it (most common by far), B) somebody else in the house added it and never told anybody, C) somebody accessed the site form another computer (work, library, friend's house) and didn't sign out of the account properly (in which case, change your account password), or D) the title was automatically added back in 2008 and it's simply gone unnoticed until now (rare).

By the way, you can see the date that titles were added to the instant or DVD queues by clicking on the film title or the box art to go to the main description page for the title. It's in a little box on the right hand side of the page.
posted by maqsarian at 9:35 AM on November 8, 2010

Not for me, but I'm the only person who accesses my Netflix account.
posted by chairface at 2:52 PM on November 8, 2010

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