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Netflix to ditch five-star rating system for a new thumbs up and down system

By Aaron Yip - on 17 Mar 2017, 9:44am

Say hello to Thumbs

Netflix users, say good bye to the five-star rating system soon. A new thumbs up / thumbs down system will take over it instead, said Todd Yellin, Netflix Vice President of Product, in a press briefing at the Netflix HQ today.

According to Yellin, five-stars is beginning to feel too archaic and he felt that a simpler and stricter binary thumb up or down rating methodology will get more people to rate movies or TV shows. It’s also more implicitly understandable that users are doing it to improve their own experience rather than trying to rate it for the world.

It also does not help that a lot of people misunderstood the 5-star rating as an average rating by the Netflix community. It’s not. Rather, the rating is assumed or ‘guess-timated’ by a backend algorithm based on your time spent on a movie category and genre. With the new system, Netflix hopes this gives more clarity to end users.

In addition to the ratings change, Netflix will also start percent matching. This will be personalized by using algorithms (not shared ratings from other users) to show a percentage below a title based on how likely it is a Netflix user will enjoy it. Think of this as something similar to how dating sites match you with potential partners based on your interests or activities, Yellin added.

The update will roll out globally in April. A specific date has not been confirmed.

Will you miss the five-star rating system?

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