Netflix adopting thumb-based ratings system

By Nathaniel Dalby - Mon 20th Mar 2017 News

The new system to make users rate. 

Netflix in a browser

Netflix has announced plans to change its ratings system to be thumb-based rather than star-based.

Users will now be able to either rate a show or film ‘thumbs up’ if they enjoyed it or ‘thumbs down’ if they didn’t.

The streaming service previously used a star system, allowing users to rate content between one and five stars. It used these ratings to recommend content to other users.

Netflix has reportedly been testing the new system for a while, with results showing a 200% increase in ratings from users.

Netflix has claimed that ratings were integral to its algorithms when it first launched, but have since tanked in popularity as more and more users signed up to the service. 

An example of ratings becoming less useful was that many users would rate a documentary highly but only watch it once, whilst rating a comedy poorly and watching it multiple times.

Examples such as this make recommending content to users more difficult, with many being recommended films and TV shows they have little intention of watching. 

VP of Product at Netflix, Todd Yellin, said: “We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important”.

As well as the new rating system, Netflix is also implementing a “percent-match feature”, showing how close to your personal tastes a TV show or film is. A 98% match, for example, means it’s highly likely you’ll enjoy the suggested content. 

These changes are due to roll out in the next few weeks. To find out how to subscribe to Netflix, check out Digital TV.

Source: Independent