We’ve had this information for 4 weeks but were waiting to see if it developed any further. In addition to our exclusive recent Twitter scoop that Disney is using Hulu code to improve some features, imminently, we can now confirm Disney is testing the ability to hover over thumbnails on the homescreen of the app and pop up a card with shortcuts.
The options made available on these cards are “add title to watchlist,” “view the title details,” “play the title,” or “share the title.” If this sounds familiar, it’s because Netflix does this.
Please remember that this feature may not roll out soon or even ever. Disney sometimes chooses to abandon their features if they don’t test properly. “Leaving Soon” and “Viewing Activity History” features were abandoned (at least temporarily) back in 2019.
This could be something similar, a feature that never sees the light of day. At their recent Hackathon they revealed a bunch of exciting new features that may also never roll out. This includes the highly wanted proper Coming Soon page that acts more like a calendar and doesn’t skip most titles or present them in a random order. It would lead to far better understanding of Disney’s schedule and better viewership of new titles.
If Disney does add this new feature that we’re scooping today it would also lead to a much better user experience. The reason all other services (except Peacock) have features like this is to decrease the amount of clicks it takes people to navigate the app. Good user experience (ux) means fewer clicks to get around. Right now, Disney requires users to click a thumbnail and view the title page to play the title, share it, add it to watchlist, or read the cast list and other metadata. This cuts the clicking from 2 to 1. That’s 50 percent reduction in clicks and one less loading wait.
We expect the feature to arrive. We also know Paramount+ is testing a similar feature where hovering over thumbnails pops up details and a video clip with audio because we’re part of the group. This is the kind of thing Disney+ needs too. My mother uses these clips on Netflix to pick out films… right now Disney+ has some of the most solid bones of any service, something to be applauded. However, they are also the most bare-bones.
We have received exclusive inside information that the team building Disney+ at launch was not as experienced as one might expect. Many are figuring it out as they go. As a result, we believe Hulu’s code will help Disney+ “get better.” The future is bright, even if that future is still 1-2 years out.
Let’s see what 2022 brings.
Special thanks to our 2 inside sources for this news.
Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.