How Netflix's Fast Laughs Could Change Everything

Fast laughs, bigger lists

Key Takeaways

  • Netflix has released a new feature called Fast Laughs.
  • The feature is only available on iOS in certain regions right now, but should be available everywhere in the future.
  • Experts say that the new feature could be a good way for users to find new shows to stream.
the Netflix logo displayed on a smartphone that's sitting on a laptop with a cup of coffee nearby.
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Experts say Netflix’s new Fast Laughs feature could actually help users get more out of the streaming service.

First impressions can be everything, and that’s the point behind Fast Laughs, a new feature from Netflix that showcases quick clips of shows and comedy specials. It’s currently only available in specific regions on iOS right now. But experts say the feature could help change how we find new shows to watch, especially if Netflix expands to other genres.

"Netflix introducing the Fast Laughs feature should not come as a surprise due to the explosive expansion and market penetration of TikTok," Jamil Aziz, a marketing team lead at PureVPN, told Lifewire via email. 

"Users can easily access it with their iPhones, and can engage with content by using react buttons and sharing it on their favorite social media sites. If this becomes successful, we could see similar things for other genres as well, from horror to suspense and action."

Fast Track to Your List

A recent report from Oberlo showed that users spend an average of 52 minutes a day on TikTok. With most Netflix shows ranging from 60 to 120 minutes, finding a way to draw users in with shorter content pieces just makes sense, Angela Watson, the marketing manager for YouTube channel Ownage Pranks, explained.

"A feature like Fast Laughs is actually quite important as it could increase a user’s watch hours," Watson wrote via email.

The real challenge is making this format successful...

"The user will watch one video and be recommended other similar short clips to watch, which could keep them latched onto the app and also increase viewership for the show."

Netflix’s goal with Fast Laughs isn’t just to get you to add new shows to your list, though. While you can add new shows to your backlog with the press of a button, the idea is to bring you some of the best moments from the platform’s comedy specials without you needing to spend an hour watching the entire bit.

Making Yourself Stand Out

While it isn’t launching a new app, experts say that Netflix could face some challenges when it comes to making Fast Laughs stand out. This is already clear, as many on Twitter already have written off the feature, instead relying on apps like TikTok, which they’ve been using for months.

"Netflix added a Netflix Tiktok to Netflix. Whaaat-" one Twitter user wrote. "It’s weird to scroll through Netflix to watch random scenes from movies. We have tiktok for that."

According to Aziz, Netflix is going to need to find out what works, then focus on it. Otherwise, the feature could find itself struggling similarly to how others have in the past.

"The real challenge is making this format successful as another company called Quibi followed a similar formula with 10-minute high-quality movies featuring top-of-the-line casts," Aziz wrote. "We all know how that went."

Quibi’s content library was subsequently up for grabs earlier this year, with Roku in talks to pick it all up. Of course, Netflix has more going for it than Quibi did, thanks to years of subscriptions and building its content with well-known and beloved shows like Umbrella Academy, Dark, and its own original movies.

Expanding Ideas

Right now, Fast Laughs appears to be mostly focused on comedy clips from various shows featured on Netflix. There have been some cases of small clips from shows like Umbrella Academy appearing on the list, but most are from various standup routines and other comedy specials. 

While the focus with Fast Laughs doesn’t appear to just be driving new viewers to shows—but rather to compete with content that has become popular on TikTok and other similar scroll-based apps—it could become a good tool for that.

Each clip is like a small advertisement for the show, and if Netflix can hone in on the best clips from shows, it could actually drive more traffic to its various shows and movies. Furthermore, the company could expand it to help push other genres, too. 

"Fast Laughs is specific to comedy clips, so it won’t help spotlight other genres in Netflix," Watson told us. "However, if the same feature is launched for other genres, as well, or a more genre generic feature is enabled, that could help to spotlight other categories to watch, as well."

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