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Netflix this morning started rolling out a feature that has been long-awaited by many families who use the service. The ability to create up to five user profiles on one account means that the Netflix recommendation engine will be able to distinguish between the preferences and viewing habits of different family members when serving up suggestions.

In other words, speaking from personal experience, no more Pingu cartoons showing up when you’re looking for a great documentary to watch.

As indicated in the screenshot above, the feature works by letting users indicate who’s watching any given show. Netflix says adding profiles will be as easy as providing a name, with the option to select a customized icon or connect the profile to a specific user’s Facebook account to get suggestions from friends.

Netflix says the feature will roll out over the next few days to the Netflix website, iPad, iPhone, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Apple TV, in addition to newer connected televisions and Blu-ray players. Profiles can be created on the web and PS3 for now, but they can be used on all of those devices. Netflix says Wii and Android support are in the works.

Here’s a Netflix video showing the new feature …

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