Netflix on Thursday rolled out a new tool, on smartphones/tablets that let users control their data usage.
The move comes shortly after Netflix expanded its service to nearly every country on the planet. In January the streaming television pioneer significantly expanded its global footprint to 190 countries, making its Internet TV service available in 130 new markets.
According to Netflix, the move was to encourage potential subscribers in vast array of places where smartphones are preferred devices for connecting to the internet.
The update is now available for iOS and Android.
“As we have launched Netflix around the world, we have seen big differences in how much people are streaming on smartphones and what kinds of mobile data plans they have,” Netflix director of product innovation Eddy Wu said in a blog post.
“Today, we are offering a new tool to help you better control how much data you use when streaming on cellular networks,” he added.
Until yesterday, Netflix’s mobile users were limited to a slow streaming speed that conserved data but also delivered relatively poor video quality. Today Netflix subscribers can choose the stream rates that suit them best.
Wu added, “Our testing found that, on cellular networks, this setting balances good video quality with lower data usage to help avoid exceeding data caps and incurring overage fees.
“Our goal is to give you more control and greater choice in managing your data usage whether you’re on an unlimited mobile plan or one that’s more restrictive.”
In the updated version of the iOS or Android application, there will be a new setting called “Cellular Data Usage,” where you’ll be able to switch off the automatic, default setting then choose either a higher or lower data usage setting, depending on your personal preference.
An unlimited data option is also available in this area, which is found under the “App Settings” menu.
Since after its launch in 2007, Netflix memberships grew to a record high 6.74 million in the first three months of this year, hitting 81.5 million worldwide, with some 42 percent of those outside the United States, the company reported.