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Netflix is Ditching Five-Star Ratings in Favour of Thumbs Up/Down System

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Remember when YouTube videos switched from a five-star rating system to a like/dislike one? According to a new report from The Verge, Netflix is making the same change.

Todd Yellin, Netflix’s Vice president of product, said in a press briefing that “five stars feels very yesterday now.” You might’ve already seen the thumbs up option, which has been in testing since 2006. The simpler system saw over 200 percent more ratings than the traditional five-star rating system.

As a consumer of Netflix, you may be wondering why Netflix is making this change. Let me explain. If the ratings system is simpler, then more people are providing their feedback, which means more data for the company.

More data leads to better recommendations for users and better recommendations will increase the chance of a user watching more videos. In the end, the move both benefits the company and the consumer.

Some consumers may argue that a five-star rating system is more detailed, as you are able to see the average on a larger scale. The thumbs up and down will not provide as much information, as it is binary.

Another feature you might’ve already seen is a percentage match, which is the company’s way of assigning a value to the likelihood of you enjoying the show.

The company says it’s not limiting these matches to your region, as it’s found people are perfectly willing to watch shows from other markets. Instead, it will match based on users with similar viewing habits, regardless of their geographic location.

Netflix has announced that the new thumbs up / thumbs down rating system will begin rolling out globally in April.

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