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Surprise! Netflix quietly drops a key feature that was perfect for confused streamers

It was the easiest way to watch something on Netflix - and now it's gone.

Surprise! Netflix quietly drops a key feature that was perfect for confused streamers
Marc Chacksfield
16 February 2023

Netflix has revealed that it has shuttered its Surprise Me button just a year after launch, explaining on its site that the feature has been discontinued.

We get it, sometimes finding something to watch on Netflix is a chore. ShortList has obviously been helping you find the best things to watch for years now, with our best Netflix shows and best Netflix movies list packed with recommendations.

But sometimes you just want somebody else to choose for you - and that's exactly why Netflix made the Surprise Me button. Hit this and you were give a movie or show that you wouldn't have necessarily watched before.

It was a fun idea and also a rather simplistic one. It's surprising, then, that the feature has now been discontinued due to low use, with Netflix revealing on its site that it is no longer part of the platform.

Navigating Netflix

Speaking about the now defunct feature. Netflix told the WSJ: “We will continue to explore other ways to give members more options and ways to explore and discover content they want to watch.”

Netflix has been trying a number of things to improve retention on the service. I has branched out into mobile gaming and cut funny scenes out of shows and movies into TikTok style chunks so you can devour quicker bits of content, branding this Quick Laughs on its mobile app.

It has also redesigned the mobile app, making it easier to find something to watch with a New & Hot section showing at a glance what's worth watching.

The biggest issue it has though is surfacing up the right content for people to watch and the Surprise Me button was meant to do just that - which makes it so surprising that the feature is no longer here.