Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is hoping your friends have a better feel for the movies you like than its own recommendations engine that scours through billions of past rentals.

OK, that's not exactly the premise behind Netflix Social, the new Netflix feature that plays into the viral nature of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Netflix Social may be merely more fun than practical, as opt-in subscribers will be able to see what their friends are watching as well as the titles they've rated highly in the past.

Engagement is the key here. Sure, Netflix may have a better idea about what indie movie you might like than your old college roommate would, but having this information will give you two something to talk about the next time you bump into one another in the real world.

Making Netflix stickier is at the heart of Netflix Social. You'll be unlikely to cancel if you know there are fun features and that your friend is counting on you to steer him toward House of Cards or that really neat documentary on Anvil.

Netflix had to lobby legislators to make this possible. Earn it, subscribers!

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Angie's List (NASDAQ:ANGI) announced on Thursday night that its CFO will be leaving. Angie's List is a subscription-based service offering vetted referrals for service professionals, but I don't think the company will be using its own site to find a new chief bean counter.
  • Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM) is still not profitable, but the young biotech posted its fourth consecutive quarter of narrower-than-expected losses. Peregrine is researching monoclonal antibodies for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer.
  • Heckmann (OTC:NESC) surprised the market with a quarterly profit. The environmental-services provider will change its name to Nuverra after completing two major acquisitions. What the heck, man? The stock moved nicely higher on the news.