Let’s journey back twenty years ago to April 2022 (ok, maybe it just feels like twenty years ago) to the world premiere of Discover on Plex. It marked the moment that our dream of unifying all of our subscription services, watchlists, and recommendations into one easy-to-use app came true.
Since that day, millions of users have used Discover to see what’s new and trending from all of their selected services in one streamlined view. We’ve finally found relief from the streaming struggle with the newfound ability to create one universal Watchlist, browse curated recommendations, and watch trailers for new releases—all from the comfort of our Plex app.
But still, we knew there was more to Discover. A missing link that when found, would make Plex unlike any entertainment platform available. Turns out, that missing link was you. And your friends. And the Plex community at large.
Eureka! Discover is better together.
The Importance of the Water Cooler Effect
We can all agree that we love seeing a Fresh Tomato score, but nothing compares to those IRL conversations on Monday morning (remember those?) where we stand around (instead of working) and review—mano a mano—what we watched all weekend. Let’s call it the Water Cooler Effect.
Rob, Michelle, Ana, and Deepak are all watching [insert show here] and now you’re feeling the immediate, burning need to watch it too.
Sure, our curation is done by real humans, and our recommendations span the services you watch most, but add in the stuff your friends are watching and rating? That’s gold, Jerry! Gold!
It Started as a Beta, Now We’re Here
Inspired by the Water Cooler Effect, we set out to create the next evolution of Discover: enabling users to search for and add friends on Plex, and integrating this connected activity right into the app experience. The result was unveiled as a beta to a group of power users last July, and after many months of friending, sharing, commenting, and profile tinkering, it’s ready for entertainment fans everywhere.
Give Me the Short Version
Starting this week, when you log in on any of our major platforms, including Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android mobile devices, smart TVs, game consoles, and the web app, you’ll be given an overview of Discover Together, why you should give it a spin, and what settings will give you the best experience. Don’t worry there won’t be a test later.
Now for the fun part. Head over to Discover, where you’ll see that three new tab options have arrived next to Trending: Activity, People, and Profile. We’ve summarized here what each tab has to offer.
Want a Deeper Dive? Thought You’d Never Ask
Settle in as we break down these fresh new tabs.
It’s new, it’s improved, it’s basically your player card for the Discover Together experience, showcasing your streaming stats. Here you can:
- See totals of what you’ve watched since joining Plex, broken down by Movies, Shows, and Episodes
- Share a little bit about yourself—like where you’re from, a short bio, and, if you’re so inclined, a website URL
- Control who sees each item in your profile—like your Watchlist, your Watch History, your ratings, and even your friends list
Just remember, the more you give, the more you’re gonna get back in return.
When it comes to finding friends on Plex, the People tab is your best friend. It’s never been easier to search for and add friends. Simply type in a name, location, or interest to look for folks you know.
Prefer to have us make some recommendations for you? No problem. Check back here often to see who you may know and want to connect with, based on your network and their privacy settings. This tab is also the spot for seeing the full roster of your current friends.
This is where all the action is. The water cooler, if you will. Here you’ll see what friends are:
- Adding to their Watchlist
Yes, all of your friends are watching The Fall of the House of Usher.
Note: To have the activity include events related to content on a personal Plex Media Server, you’ll need to first enable watch state syncing. Keep in mind that how you watched your content is private. Check out this support article to learn more about what data is collected to make this work.
For every item in your activity feed, there are several actions you can take related to the title featured, including:
Mark as Watched
Add to Watchlist
Comment by clicking on the comment/reply button. Clicking on “comment” will open up a new page expanding the thread
Now let’s say you’re viewing a specific title in the Plex app—in this example you’re one of the few people on Earth who haven’t yet seen John Wick 4. You can now see and select activity info to find out which friends are watching, rating, and Watchlisting the movie. Awesome, huh?
Let’s take it one step further and say that now you’ve also watched John Wick 4 (making you very cool) and want to share it with the rest of your friends who haven’t yet seen the movie. First, select the share option, then select which friend(s)—or ALL friends—you want to share with, and finally, add your message.
These messages shared to selected friends will not be visible in the activity feed to all of your friends, but only to the friends you have chosen to share with.
As Always, You’re in Control
It’s up to you which of your activities your friends can see on Plex. You can update your settings at any time. There may also be instances where you would prefer to see less activity from a friend, or there’s an account you want to disappear altogether. Mute and Block to the rescue.
When you mute someone (they won’t know, btw), you’ll no longer see their Watched, Watchlisted, or Rated activities in your activity feed. You will continue to receive any messages they share with you, and they’ll still see your activities in their feed.
Blocking an account will unfriend them, prevent them from seeing the content on your profile, or searching for you. You’ll no longer see their activities, they won’t see yours, and you can no longer share messages with each other. Access to any libraries you and the blocked account granted to each other will be removed.
For more on Mute and Block, check out our detailed support article.
Live Long and Discover Together
The best advertisement for this exciting addition to Discover isn’t an ad at all—it’s personal experience. So go ahead, give it a spin. We’re excited to see what you think. Plus, there’s even more to come (but that’s for next year.)
We could go on and on about settings and nerdy nuances that take more space than this celebratory blog announcement has to offer. But when you’ve got time for some light-ish reading, we’ve got the hookup for you. Check out any of these support articles for Discover Together.