Facebook to Kill Off Netflix & Blockbuster?

Maressa Brown

warner brosAs if our lives didn't already revolve way far too much around Facebook, now we can now enjoy date night with it, too. Warner Bros. will soon start renting movies through the social networking site. To catch a flick, all you'll need are some Facebook credits ... the pseudo-currency formerly used exclusively to play games like FarmVille. To rent a movie, users can go to the Warner Bros Entertainment page on Facebook and hand over 30 Facebook credits (or $3) for 48-hour viewing access. The first movie available is The Dark Knight.

For some time, big glossy companies like WB have been using Facebook to promote their brands, so I guess this is an obvious extension of that. But if I was Netflix or Blockbuster, I'd be more than a little annoyed ...

They can't exactly do anything about this -- nor should they ... But why does this partnership need to exist? Why does Warner Bros. need to give Facebook a piece of the digital rental pie?? Can't they just offer movie rentals through their site? Or an extension site? They can put a "like" button on that just as easily, so the Facebook-obsessed can tell their "friends" that they just "liked" renting Hall Pass or whatever.

But, apparently, the WB-FB union is a match made in ADD Heaven ...

According to The Wall Street Journal, renters will "have full Facebook functionality during the viewing experience, including the ability to post comments, status updates, and interact with their friends." Oh for crying out loud! Can't you just watch the damn movie? No. You have to multitask and write on your friends' walls and "like" stuff while you're watching. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why our species will soon have the same attention span as fleas.

This WB-FB coupling also drives me nuts, because I hate seeing Facebook become a playground for big brands to have pages that are basically glorified commercials. It makes me cringe when I see a commercial for Old Navy or a new movie and the URL they give at the bottom of the screen isn't an individual site for the company, but it's Facebook.com/TwilightFourteen or whatever.

Facebook has become such a beast that every stupid company on the planet, from the mom-and-pop sandwich shop down the street to, well, Warner Bros. HAS to call it their landing pad. All I want -- and most people I know want -- is to be able to use it to stay in touch with friends, share photos, ideas, stories. Sure, coupons are good, and I like hearing about the occasional sale code through a store -- but they can distribute those through e-mail.

Here's the thing ... To me, and to many vet users, Facebook was always supposed to be about social networking -- people talking to other PEOPLE. Not a barrage of commercial plugs and restaurant/retail/entertainment company pages that are trying to get you to spend money by screaming at you in your newsfeed. After all, wasn't it all that superfluous commercial crap that brought MySpace down? Just sayin'.

Would you want to watch movies through Facebook?


Image via Gareth Simpson/Flickr

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