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Netflix will reduce developing ‘product innovations’ as teams go remote

Netflix will reduce developing ‘product innovations’ as teams go remote


The last major product update was new parental controls

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Despite employees adapting fairly well to working from home during the global pandemic, Netflix is reducing the number of product features it experiments with as a precaution.

“Our product teams, for example, have been relatively unaffected,” Netflix’s letter to shareholders reads. “As a precaution, we have temporarily reduced the number of product innovations we try, while continuing to release features that we know will add meaningful value for our members.”

The last two features Netflix rolled out to subscribers were Top 10 lists, now available in nearly 100 countries, and new parental control features. Netflix’s letter doesn’t list any product features that are already in development that might continue. Instead, the letter reiterates that “our focus has been on maintaining the quality of our service while our employees around the world adapt to working from home.”

Other parts of Netflix’s business have been impacted by shelter-at-home orders and general social isolation practices as people work to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Netflix’s letter notes that its animation production team is back up and running but working remotely. Production on other shows and films have “largely paused around the world,” according to the company, as they rely on people being on physical sets and in close proximity of one another. More than 200 projects have been able to continue via remote tasks, and original series writers’ rooms have continued virtually.