Netflix has announced a change to its API that will likely make a number of developers less than happy. The company has chosen to stop sharing its content expiry dates within the Netflix API, removing the ability for site and app developers to easily see what date TV shows and movies will be removed from the site.
Websites like instantwatcher.com used to use this information provided by Netflix’s API to easily sort movies and shows by what date they were expiring. This way, people could look at what movies were expiring soon so they could watch ones they were interested in before they lost the chance.
Netflix has now removed that feature, stating that the dates the company sets can occasionally be inaccurate and can often change at the last minute. “We are making this change because the expiration date can be inaccurate as a result of frequent, often last minute, changes in content flow.”
Unfortunately for sites like instantwatcher, this means one of their site’s key features has now been completely killed off.
Netflix will, however, put a fake date in the API code for all titles as January 1st, 2100, rather than removing the code altogether to try and avoid breaking any sites or apps that have been using the code.
Users will still be able to see when content is expiring soon by going on the title’s Netflix page, although, your drunken days of finding crappy B-horror movies to watch right before they expire are likely over.