Netflix is introducing a new “Mystery Box” feature aimed at helping kids discover new movies and TV shows, the company announced on Thursday. The new feature, which is similar to a shuffle button based on your preferences, is rolling out globally on the company’s connected TV platforms today. Netflix notes that since kids often love rewatching their favorites, it can be hard to get them to try something new, which is why it’s rolling out this new feature.
Kids and their caregivers can access the new feature by finding the ‘Favorites Row’ featured at the top of the Netflix homepage when logged onto a Netflix Kids profile. From there, you need to hover over the sparkly “Mystery Box” to discover a new title. Once you hover over the box with a question mark, a preview of a TV show or movie will automatically start playing.
“Kids are drawn to what they love — their favorite toys, foods, songs — and it’s hard to get them to try something new,” said TJ Marston, Netflix’s director of product innovation, kids and family, in a blog post. “We hope that kids will love the surprise and delight of revealing the next show or film recommended for them.”
Although there are already ways to discover new content on Netflix, this new feature is designed to be a more fun and interactive way for kids to get new suggestions. The company says the new feature will give kids a tailored experience that will help them find their next favorite series or movies, or even reconnect them with a familiar character.
The company has been introducing a number of new features aimed at kids over the past year. Last July, Netflix launched bi-weekly kids recap emails to give parents a better understanding of their child’s viewing preferences. The emails give parents access to coloring sheets and activities based on their child’s favorite characters. Among other things, they also include recommendations based on a child’s favorite shows and movies. At the same time, Netflix rolled out a “Kids Top 10” row featuring the most popular children’s content in your country.
Netflix also visually revamped its Kids profile last year to make it easier to navigate. Prior to the update, the layout for the Kids profile was similar to an adult’s, with rows that showed Trending shows and other suggestions. With the revamp, the top row now features the kid’s most-watched content. It made sense for Netflix to change up the user interface, especially since younger kids often navigate Netflix visually.