Netflix trials ‘TikTok-style’ short video feature

A still of Netflix's new vertical short-clip feature

Credit: Netflix

Netflix is trialing a new TikTok-style feature on certain British customers that shows short comedy clips from its back catalogue.

The streaming giant’s new “Fast Laughs” section allows users to vertically swipe through videos in a manner not dissimilar to the Chinese social media sensation.

Clips from both Netflix originals and third-part licensed programmes make up the content as well as videos from its “Netflix Is A Joke” social channels.

The new feature, which is designed to help people find something to watch on the site, follows on from Netflix’s adoption of Snapchat’s “Stories” in 2018. Over the past two years, users have been able to swipe through trailers for shows in its “previews” section.

Fast Laughs was first noticed by Matt Navarra, a UK-based social media commentator. The intro video points out how the feature will be used, and will largely be made up of clips ranging in length from 15 seconds to 45 seconds.

Netflix’s gone all TikTok-like with ‘Fast Laughs’ feature?! pic.twitter.com/T760u8Rea5

— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) November 12, 2020

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The streaming giant is trialing the service on some users in the UK and the US, TechCrunch reported.

While short-form vidoes has proven extremely popular among social media users, in particular on YouTube and TikTok, other attempts to build a short-form streaming service from scratch have been less successful.

Qubi, a streaming service backed by Hollywood, shut its doors after just seven months in operation last month. The app, which attracted a mammoth $1.75bn (£1.3bn) in funding, focused on shows lasting up to 10 minutes. It closed after founders conceded it was no longer viable.

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