Netflix’s infamous ‘Are You Still Watching?’ feature is potentially helping us

Photo courtesy of Ad Age

Though it’s beneficial that Netflix does not want its viewers to miss an episode, the platform was designed for binge-watching without interruption. The streaming service automatically plays the next episode of a series and gives viewers the option to skip the opening credits to immediately pick up where they left off. However, the ‘Are you still watching?’ reminder slows that binge and suddenly pauses your show only minutes in. 

Due to immense pushback from viewers, Netflix began testing a feature that lets watchers deactivate the pop-up in late 2020. According to The Verge, this notification referred to as a “sick day function,” allowed streamers to choose a “Play without asking again” option when the message came up. However, this feature slowly went away, and subscribers were left to face the original notification again. Besides ensuring that viewers will not lose their place in their favorite series, according to How to Geek, Netflix programmed this question to prevent users from wasting bandwidth. 

For any streaming service, a subpar bandwidth can hinder watchers from watching their favorite content. Considering what video type is being used, Netflix’s speed for service ranks between 1.5-25 Megabits per second (Mbps) and this is only counting a single device. Those who are paying for two or more screens will need to ensure that they have enough speed to handle all streams at once. Without this feature, a show will continue playing and increase the megabyte data, especially on phones. This expansion can rack up pricey rates since some network providers closely monitor data with their strict limits.

For now, the streaming service recommends turning off the autoplay button to keep a record that viewers are interacting with the control buttons.

Leave a Reply