What the heck is wrong with Netflix?

What the heck is wrong with Netflix?

I re-installed my iPhone the other day, re-downloaded Netflix, entered my username and password... and was promptly kicked out of the app and into Safari, and asked to login to Facebook. Something similar happened on my iPad, but because I was already logged into Facebook I was instead kicked out into Safari and asked to add some ridiculous Netflix app to Facebook.

I can't emphasize enough how horrible a user experience this is. A first time user experience should be as darn near frictionless as possible. It should be about the app and service, helping you to use it successfully and immediately. Kicking your new users out of your app is inexcusable. Kicking them into Facebook is even worse. Despite its popularity, not everyone uses it. Some people are highly opposed to using it for various privacy reasons.

For someone like my mom, that would be a brick wall and phone call to me -- something she's never had to do on the iPad so far.

From the bungled price hike to the embarrassing Qwikster flip-flop, Netflix should be far more concerned about providing a great experience to the users that have stuck with them than about pushing their self-service social initiatives. Instead, this looks like just one more misstep.

What the heck is wrong with them?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

eBay updates its iPad app and brings new “Watch with eBay” feature [video]

Next up →

The iPhone 4S and professional photography

Reader comments

What the heck is wrong with Netflix?


The minute this happens to me, I'm done with Netflix. I don't have Facebook, nor do I want it. Forcing me to tie into it is a guarantee that I have no need for a service.

I've seen this happen with other apps, but instead the original app quits and then opens the Facebook app to validate you're logged in, then returns you to the original app automatically logged in with your FB ID. Do you have the FB app installed?

If I ever add the streaming part of Netflix and install the app and get this crap I'll be gone for good. I use facebook but that doesn't mean I want Netflix stuff running thru facebook.

All of this Facebook integration garbage is getting out of hand. I use and love Spotify, but I got in before the manditory Facebook login. Facebook is trying to turn itself into a State Issued ID so that people have to use it in order to sign up for anything. A private company being this controlling is alarming.

I don't have the Facebook app on my iPad or iPhone so I haven't encountered this
BTW: I don't have the app because I don't use the service
FYI: This page has 5 Facebook buttons on it!

I was curious so I tried logging out of my Netflix iOS app and logged back in. No facebookery for me. Maybe they are doing some sort of split-test for a new FB integration. Requiring FB for Spotify and others is ridiculous.

I'm having no problems on mine. My power went out last night and i resorted to watching netflix on my phone. Non of that happened.

I've never had the Netflix app force me to Facebook. I don't even use a Facebook account, nor twitter. I don't even answer my phone for the most part; I'm much more productive that way and so I have time to post here!

Can you please provide a link to some data to support the statement that the iPad is better selling than Android tablets?

According to AppleInsider (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/11/22/hpleadsall12mnonappletabletssoldinusin2011.html), it appears that Android tablets accounted for 44% of the US market from Jan - Oct, 2011. The HP Touchpad had 17% and the Blackberry Playbook had an undisclosed amount. That means the iPad had, AT MOST, 39% (and actually less when you subtract whatever the small Playbook number is). And that is year to date. The same article said that Android tablets sold 3 times as much in Q3 and in Q1.
So, year-to-date, Android tablets have sold more, in the U.S., than iPads, and in Q3 they sold (presumably) WAY more.
Netflix may pull some bonehead moves, but in this case it sounds like they are making the right one.

I did not reinstall the Netflix app, but thankfully I haven't had this experience on either my iPad or my iPhone.
Facebook integration is just a step or two short of evil.

I've never had a problem. Works on all of our devices, 3 iPhones, 2 iPads, 2 iTouch. It's always worked and worked well. Oh yeah, Apple TV too. Ummm, operator error?....

I've never had a problem. Works on all of our devices, 3 iPhones, 2 iPads, 2 iTouch. It's always worked and worked well. Oh yeah, Apple TV too. Ummm, operator error?....

Gee, looks like you got some real problems there, pal. I wonder how emo you'd be if you were sleeping on a dirt floor and drinking dirty water just to survive.

The customer has a just complaint. Although I loved your putting it into perspective. Its a capitalist society. You aren't happy with it, take your business elsewhere, money talks.
Thank God for spell check!

I'm getting tired of the lame selections for instant view. I've watched so many unknown bad movies lately because there is nothing good new!

This prob only happens to users outside the US. The Netflix -- Facebook integration is delayed in the US because of laws preventing the sharing of video rental info

Ummm, did you go read AppleInsider? I WAS quoting the SALES numbers posted in the article titled "HP leads all 1.2M non-Apple tablets sold in US in 2011". 44% of all tablets SOLD in the U.S., Jan '11 - Oct '11 were Android. iPads were less than 39% during the same period.
Read the article. Try to do the simple arithmetic.

What the hell are you talking about? Did you even READ the article you're quoting? First, the title says "HP Leads all NON-APPLE tablets". Further down in the article it says this:
The fact that total U.S. tablet sales could only muster 1.2 million total units in a ten-month span shows the disparity between the iPad and everyone else. For example, in the last quarter alone, Apple reported worldwide sales of 11.2 million iPads, though a regional breakdown of the three-month period was not provided.
You really should read the sources you're quoting… unless you like looking like an idiot.

@Keith (there's no Reply like on your post, for some reason):
As a matter of fact, I DID read the article (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/11/22/hpleadsall12mnonappletabletssoldinusin2011.html). And then I applied some basic reasoning skills to it.
The article reported HP had 17% of the sales of tablets from Jan - Oct, 2011.
Samsung had 16%
Asus had 10%
Motorola had 9%
Acer had 9%
All of those make, guess what, Android tablets. So, Android tablets had 44% of the market for 2011 YTD. HP (webOS) had 17%. Rim (Playbook) had some amount. Which leaves LESS than 39% of tablet sales in 2011 YTD for Apple to claim.
Android is selling more. Rene's article was about Netflix and his assertion that they should have targeted iPad because it's "much, much better selling". In fact, they targeted Android and ANDROID is much better selling than ANYTHING else.
Further, the same article said, "tablet hardware sales for non-Apple vendors accelerated throughout 2011, with each quarter performing better than the last. Third-quarter sales were said to be twice as strong as the second quarter of 2011, while second-quarter sales were three times better than the first three months of the year".
Since you still have passed Logic 101, let me break that down for you: non-Apple tablet sales are better than Apple, 2011 YTD, and 60% of those non-Apple sales happened in Q3 alone! So, ignoring the first 6 months of the year and looking at NOW, Android tablets are selling MUCH, MUCH better than iPads.

ps. of course, I'm talking about, in the U.S. only. The article does not give numbers for non-Apple worldwide sales. Besides, Netflix is only relevant to the U.S. anyway, I think.

In all fairness, Netflix is not the only app that kicks you out to Safari, and the lack of a "back" button on Apple devices only exacerbates the exasperation when that happens.

You can enable those cookies by calling Netflix 1-866-716-0414. They can tell you what to type in your url screen to fix the problem.

I just like the valuable info you provide for your articles. I'll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I'm fairly sure I will be told plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!