Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Updating Netflix’s Recommendations for Near-Worldwide Support

Yves Raimond and Justin Basilico of Netflix:

On the 6th of January, we simultaneously launched Netflix in 130 new countries around the world, which brings the total to over 190 countries. Preparing for such a rapid expansion while ensuring each algorithm was ready to work seamlessly created new challenges for our recommendation and search teams. In this post, we highlight the four most interesting challenges we’ve encountered in making our algorithms operate globally and, most importantly, how this improved our ability to connect members worldwide with stories they’ll love.

This kind of behind-the-scenes post is fascinating to me because it reveals the complexity with which every additional language and region requires. I may (regularly) complain about how poor my Siri and Apple Music recommendations are, but every company faces these same challenges. That’s not an excuse, but it is an explanation.