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Netflix makes its own form of TikTok: Brilliant or repetitive?

(REAL ESTATE TECH NEWS) Many have applauded Netflix on their FastLaughs feature, while others have said it’s trying too hard to follow up on TikTok’s formula and may be repetitive.

Two people watching Netflix on a TV while seated on a couch.

Without a doubt, TikTok is a time-suck. As soon as you open the social media app, a short video immediately starts playing. With a simple swipe up and swipe down motion, you can scroll through what seems like an endless list of short-form videos. Before you know it, an hour or two has gone by.

TikTok’s trendy micro-entertainment style content is being created, shared, and consumed by pretty much everyone today. With its increasing popularity, it comes as no surprise that streaming giant Netflix has now mirrored the TikTok-esque vertical clips in their mobile app.

Last week, Netflix launched Fast Laughs. The feature offers a full-screen feed of videos like TikTok, but with video clips of Netflix’s catalog of comedic entertainment offerings. So, instead of seeing social media challenges, trending hashtags, or food and dance videos, you’ll see funny video clips for stand-up specials and comedy films and series streaming on Netflix. In other words, you’ll be watching ads for Netflix movies and TV shows.

You can access the feature by clicking on the Fast Laughs smiling emoji icon in the bottom navigation bar. Once there, short clips will autoplay. On the right side of each clip, there is a series of icons similar to the ones TikTok videos have.

The LOL icon lets you interact with the video. When you tap the button, the laugh-cry emojis that Gen Z killed burst on the screen, much like the Instagram Live floating heart animation. If you like what you see, you can choose to add the video to your list to watch later or share it with your friends on WhatsApp, Instagram Stories, Snapchat, etc. If you want to watch it now, you can simply select play.

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Netflix’s Fast Laughs is the company’s attempt at competing with TikTok in terms of audience’s time. The loop of funny videos displays their comedic catalog in a format that TikTok has already proven successful to do.

By automatically showing clips to people, the company believes consumers will be more likely to add movies and shows to their queue. Thus, spending more time on Netflix to watch saved content and scroll through more.

Nevertheless, the clips are still ads. And, although geniusly placed, could potentially become annoying. If there is too little content, the clips will become repetitive and boring. Also, currently, all the clips are for Netflix’s comedy programs so humorless individuals might have no use for it at all.

Currently, the feature is available for iPhone users in select countries, and mobile testing for Android devices will be coming soon.

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Veronica Garcia has a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Science in Radio/TV/Film from The University of Texas at Austin. When she’s not writing, she’s in the kitchen trying to attempt every Nailed It! dessert, or on the hunt trying to find the latest Funko Pop! to add to her collection.


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