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Netflix gets Snapchatty: Mobile app to add vertical video

The streaming company is adding vertical video previews to its mobile app in a experience that feels a lot like swiping through Snapchat.

Netflix is the latest tech giant to swipe a page out of Snapchat's book. 

Todd Yellin, Netflix vice president of product, said Wednesday that the company's mobile app next month will add video previews, a row of vertical 30-second trailers that give you a peek at personalized titles the streaming company suggests for you. 

Snap-owned Snapchat has been a farming ground for other tech giants to borrow ideas. Its Stories feature, for example, was so popular that Facebook blatantly copied it, also to great success. About a month after Snap went public, Facebook said its Instagram Stories, an almost exact copy of Snapchat Stories, was being used by 200 million people -- more than the entirety of Snapchat users. 

Netflix's mobile previews are more of an homage than a replica of Snapchat's style. The vertical-video short trailers flow one into the next, but you can swipe back and forth through the lineup. If you come upon a trailer that you enjoy but you don't have time to watch the show or movie right then, you can add it to your watchlist by tapping a plus mark at the bottom of the screen. 

The previews will default to your device's audio settings -- if you have sound turned on, previews will play audio when you tap to watch them. If your device is set to silent, the mini-trailers will be too.

The announcement was part of Netflix's so-called Labs Day, an event hosting journalists from more than 30 countries at its headquarters in Los Gatos, California, to dive into various facets of its service. 

In late 2016, Netflix introduced video previews to the TV interface. 

Mobile previews will rollout over the coming months, starting with Apple devices and coming later to Android. 

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