Netflix is launching a new mobile feature that gives subscribers the opportunity to get their fill of laughs in for the night without having to watch a whole TV show or movie.
Fast Laughs, currently only available for iOS device owners in select countries, looks and feels like TikTok or Instagram Reels. Different short clips — taken from shows like Big Mouth or stand-up specials from comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Ali Wong — play directly within the Netflix app. If one of the shows, films, or specials sparks interest, people can add said title to their saved list to watch later.
“We’re always looking for new ways to entertain and make discovery easier for members,” Patrick Flemming, director of product innovation at Netflix, said, adding that Fast Laughs is a “new full-screen feed of funny clips from a wide variety of Netflix titles, ranging from films and series to our deep bench of stand-up specials.”
Adding Fast Laughs makes sense for Netflix, considering the growth and prominence of TikTok in the market right now. Netflix’s last few earnings reports have specifically referenced TikTok as a major competitor. It’s not that Netflix and TikTok make the same type of content, but people are spending more time on TikTok — and therefore less time on Netflix. Giving iPhone users something else to scroll through on their phones, and turning that into more time spent on the app by convincing people to make their way through Big Mouth again, is a smart business move.
It also helps Netflix highlight just how much content is on the platform. Netflix has invested heavily in stand-up comedy, struck multipicture deals with comedians like Adam Sandler and Kevin Hart, and is building up its slate of animation. Since there’s so much content, a lot of it can get lost on the platform. This is one way to give subscribers a tiny glimpse of things they may have missed. That’s the key difference between TikTok and Netflix’s Fast Laughs: Netflix isn’t trying to launch a new platform to provide entertainment, but instead use a new feature to keep people on its current platform.
To access Fast Laughs, customers can use the bottom navigation menu to click on the Fast Laughs tab. The company will start testing Fast Laughs on Android devices soon.