Movie rental service Netflix, which has been steadily expanding its use of the Internet to entice new customers, said Tuesday that it has made subscribers' movie ratings available on Facebook.
Members of the online social network will have the option to display on their profile pages Netflix users' one- to five-star ratings, and share the information with other Facebook members. The information will only be shared among people who opt to receive the ratings.
The Netflix posts also will link back to the correlating movie page on the by-mail and streaming-video service. In this way, Netflix gets a chance to attract new subscribers from Facebook's 175 million members.
While the vast majority of Netflix's revenue comes from its by-mail service, the company has been moving aggressively toward the Internet, where people are watching an increasing amount of video. Betting that the Internet eventually will evolve into a major distribution channel for movies, Netflix started offering subscribers the option of also streaming movies, which can be sent directly to a PC or to a digital television via Microsoft's Xbox 360 video-game console, set-top boxes from TiVo and Roku, and DVD players made by LG Electronics and Samsung.
For now, a person has to be a subscriber to Netflix's by-mail service to also be able to watch movies online. In the future, however, the company said it would offer online-only movie rentals.
Netflix rivals Blockbuster and Apple iTunes also offer movies online. Like Netflix, Blockbuster has partnerships with hardware makers to offer its service on Internet-connected TVs. Apple offers a similar feature through its Apple TV set-top box.
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