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Netflix Officially Kills Star Ratings, Replacing Them With Thumbs Up and Down

Variety logo Variety 4/5/2017 Todd Spangler
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Will Netflix users give a thumbs up or down to its latest change?

The No. 1 streaming-subscription service announced that on Wednesday it is retiring its longstanding five-star rating systems for content recommendations. Instead, users will rate TV shows and movies they like using a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

Netflix revealed the plans to phase out star ratings last month, prompting a wave of complaints among users who have grown to love the feature.

Instead of the star rating next to each title, Netflix users will see a personalized percentage “match score.” That’s a prediction “of what Netflix thinks you may enjoy watching, based on your own unique tastes,” Cameron Johnson, the company’s director of product innovation, wrote in a blog post. The match score is based solely on algorithms analyzing a user’s individual viewing habits and behavior, not a measure of overall popularity among all Netflix viewers.

According to Netflix, the thumbs-based ratings will produce far more accurate recommendations for what you want to watch — and, according to Johnson, many users have been confused about what the five-star ratings were used for. The company says when it tested out thumbs ratings, it saw a 200% increase in ratings activity.

If Netflix users give a TV show or movie a thumbs down, they will still be able to find it by searching for it, but it will no longer show up on their homepage.

“The more you teach us about your unique tastes, the better job we can do suggesting your next great binge-worthy show or that perfect title for movie night,” Johnson wrote.

Watch a video from Netflix explaining the change in its rating system:

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