Netflix is ditching five-star ratings in favor of a simple thumbs-up/thumbs-down. The company hopes that offering a binary system will entice more people to rate the content they watch through the streaming service. And more ratings means more data to help recommend content.
While Netflix’s catalog is shrinking, it still contains a veritable smorgasbord of content. With so many movies and TV shows on offer, Netflix needs to know what’s hot in order to help users decide what to watch next. And now, in an effort to do better, Netflix is ditching ratings in favor of thumbs.
A Thumbs-Down for Netflix Ratings
Up to now, Netflix has assigned a star rating to all content. After watching a movie or TV show such as Black Mirror, viewers are asked to rate it out of five. That rating not only affects what shows Netflix recommends to you personally, but its overall rating across the whole platform.
According to Variety, Netflix tested the thumbs-up/thumbs-down system in 2016, with the result being a 200% increase in ratings. As a result, Netflix is now rolling out the new system worldwide, and all Netflix users should be seeing the thumbs-up/thumbs-down by the end of April 2017.
This doesn’t mean Netflix will promote content given a thumbs-up to everyone while pushing content given a thumbs-down out of the door. Instead, the company will employ a percent-match feature (similar to dating websites) that will match specific content to specific users.
Does Simpler Mean Better?
This switch away from ratings to a thumbs-up/thumbs-down system feels long overdue. Clearly most people don’t rate content, and even fewer take notice of ratings when deciding what to watch next. By simplifying the whole process, Netflix should improve the overall experience.
Having said that, even after this change has come online there’s still a chance the streaming service will continue failing to surface the best content for you personally. In which case we recommend exploring these secret Netflix codes which divide Netflix content up by genre and subgenre.
Do you use Netflix? Do you regularly rate the content you watch? Do you pay any attention to the ratings of other content you’re considering watching? What do you think of the switch to a simpler thumbs-up/thumbs-down system? Please let us know in the comments below!
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