Netflix is rolling out a new “Mystery Box” feature designed to help kids discover new movies and TV shows, the company announced Thursday. The new feature, which resembles a shuffle button based on your settings, is rolling out today across the company’s connected TV platforms worldwide. Netflix realizes that getting them to try something new can be difficult, as kids often love rewatching their favorites, which is why this new feature is rolling out.
Kids and their caregivers can access the new feature by finding the “Favorites Row” at the top of the Netflix home page when logged into a Netflix Kids profile. From there, you’ll need to hover over the sparkling “Mystery Box” to discover a new title. When you hover over the box with a question mark, a preview of a TV show or movie will automatically play.
“Kids are drawn to what they love — their favorite toys, food, songs — and it’s hard to get them to try something new,” said TJ Marston, director of product innovation, kids and family at Netflix, in a blog post. “We hope kids will love the surprise and joy of unveiling the next show or movie recommended for them.”
While there are already ways to discover new content on Netflix, this new feature aims to be a more fun and interactive way for kids to get new suggestions. The company says the new feature will offer kids a tailored experience, helping them find their next favorite series or movie, or even reconnect them with a familiar character.
The company rolled out a number of new features for kids over the past year. Last July, Netflix launched bi-weekly summary emails for kids to give parents a better understanding of their kids’ viewing habits. The emails give parents access to coloring pages and activities based on their child’s favorite characters. Among other things, they also contain recommendations based on a child’s favorite shows and films. At the same time, Netflix launched a “Kids Top 10” series with the most popular children’s content in your country.
Netflix also gave its Kids Profile a visual makeover last year to make it easier to navigate. Before the update, the child’s profile layout resembled that of an adult, with rows showing trending shows and other suggestions. With the overhaul, the top row now shows kids’ most watched content. It made sense for Netflix to change the interface, especially since younger kids often navigate Netflix visually.