Netflix has tried and failed at integrating social media into their website. Their most prominent attempt, the Friends feature, was declared a failure back in May and quietly dismantled in the months following. But it looks like they're getting back on the social media wagon, with a very powerful friend:

Netflix revealed it is in the process of implementing “an extensive Facebook integration” on Wednesday, marking a significant change from its previous absence from the social Web...In addition to helping identify discrete people within a household, Facebook integration would presumably allow Netflix to help users do things like share their personal viewing history in their newsfeed and recommend videos to friends. Understanding social networks could improve Netflix’s famously honed recommendation algorithm. It might also be an opportunity for Netflix to create social viewing experiences.

There are a couple of reasons why Netflix is doing this, and probably the most important part to them is that "discrete people" deal; at the moment they don't do a good job of distinguishing users from households. But I'm not convinced that idea of users sharing their viewing history on Facebook will work. People like to watch embarrassing shit, and many people don't like to talk about the embarrassing shit they like to watch. I rent movies that I can't bring myself to see in the theater, and I expect I'm not alone. For example: Last night? Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps*, and I've also watched Resident Evil: Afterlife** and Dinner for Schmucks*** in the last week or so. I've gone on Tinto Brass**** and 80s horror-movie tears recently, too. And while my movie-going life is (often distressingly) public because, well, it's part of my job, I just don't think that most users want everyone to know what they're watching all the time. No matter how you sell it, it's not going to work.

(Footnoted mini-movie reviews can be found after the jump.)

* This was not a good movie—what's up, Shia LaBoeuf?—but I enjoy that Oliver Stone keeps trying so desperately to be relevant. I'm starting to think that you can view his oeuvre as the anti-zeitgeist. As soon as Oliver Stone makes a movie about it, you know it's jumped the shark. I actually think Natural Born Killers might have made serial killing uncool.

** Also not good, but it is one of those Milla Jovovich movies with weirdly gorgeous, hyper-fake-looking action sequences. Watched on fast-forward, you barely even notice that the movie doesn't have an ending. I'm convinced that one day someone will cut out all the exposition from these Resident Evil movies and condense them into a single, hourlong fight sequence. I will watch the fuck out of that movie.

*** SO BAD. Lindy warned me, but I didn't listen. Always listen to Lindy.

**** If you're too lazy to click over to Wikipedia: Tinto Brass is the Italian version of Russ Meyer. Only instead of Meyer's boob obsession, Brass is obsessed with the female ass. You may know him for Caligula, but he's done way better than that. In fact, I like his movies much better than Meyer's, especially Cheeky!