Today Netflix are changing the way you can tell us which stories you love, and which ones you’re just not that into.
Netflix are retiring their five-star rating system and replacing it with a simpler and more intuitive thumbs-up and thumbs-down. A thumbs-up tells Netflix that you like something and want to see similar suggestions. A thumbs-down lets them know you aren’t interested in watching that title and should stop suggesting it to you. You can still search for it, but they heard what you were trying to tell them — you aren’t a fan — and it will no longer show up on your homepage.
The star rating you see next to each title is being replaced with a personalized % Match score. This score is a prediction of what Netflix thinks you may enjoy watching, based on your own unique tastes. The % Match is based solely on our algorithms analyzing your individual viewing habits and behavior — it is not a measure of overall popularity across the service.
Netflix has had star ratings for much of our history, but we’ve learned through over a year of testing that while we’ve used stars to help you personalize your suggestions, many of our members are confused about what they do.
That’s because we’ve all gotten used to star ratings on e-commerce and review apps, where rating contributes to an overall average, and the star rating shown next to a restaurant or a pair of shoes is an average of all the reviewers. On those apps, being a reviewer can be fun and helpful to others, but the primary goal isn’t always to help you get better suggestions.
In contrast, when people see thumbs, they know that they are used to teach the system about their tastes with the goal of finding more great content. That’s why when we tested replacing stars with thumbs we saw an astounding 200% increase in ratings activity.
For members who have provided star ratings in the past, we will continue to use that information to suggest great content.