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Netflix is replacing its star ratings with thumbs up and thumbs downs

Tyrone Stewart

Netflix has announced that it is going to replace its star rating system with a simpler thumbs up and thumbs down system.

According to Variety, the company had been testing the new system “with hundreds of thousands of members in 2016” – finding that the thumbs system got 200 per cent more ratings than the currently used star rating feature. As a result, the streaming service will roll out the thumbs system in the coming weeks.

Part of the idea behind the new system is gaining a better idea of what users actually enjoy. Because of this, Netflix also announced a new percent-match feature that uses some of the data received from the thumbs system to provide users with better recommendations.

Todd Yellin, Netflix’s VP of product, also shared stats to support the company’s thinking. He stated that Netflix once had over 10bn five star ratings, and that more than 50 per cent of member had rated more than 50 titles. The problem was that people would “rate documentaries with five stars, and silly movies with just three stars, but still watch silly movies more often than those high-rated documentaries.”

Netflix also revealed that it may consider exploring mobile-specifc cuts for its original movies and shows.

According to The Verge, Netflix CPO Neil Hunt said: “It’s not inconceivable that you could take a master [copy] and make a different cut for mobile... it's something we will explore over the next few years."