Tuesday 25 April 2017

Netflix to scrap star ratings for thumbs up or down

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated file handout image issued by Netflix of their logo. A thriller about kidnapped children, a drama about the power struggles between the church, state and criminal underworld of Rome and a series about 1920s telephone operators are among the foreign language shows to launch on Netflix this year.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated file handout image issued by Netflix of their logo. A thriller about kidnapped children, a drama about the power struggles between the church, state and criminal underworld of Rome and a series about 1920s telephone operators are among the foreign language shows to launch on Netflix this year.

By David Mercer

Users will no longer be able to rate films and TV shows between one and five stars.

Netflix is scrapping its star ratings and introducing a “thumbs up, thumbs down” system.

The streaming service said users will no longer be able to rate films and TV shows between one and five stars when it introduces the new system in April.

Todd Yellin, Netflix’s vice president of product, said tests had shown ratings went up by 200% by using the “thumbs up, thumbs down” method.

At the company’s headquarters in Los Gatos, California, he told reporters: “This is the lingo of the internet now. This is the language people speak.”

Mr Yellin said Netflix found users often rank respected documentaries with five stars and more frivolous titles with one star despite being more likely to actually watch the latter.

The company is also introducing a new percent-match feature which shows whether a film or TV show is a good match for each Netflix user.

“We were inspired by dating sites,” Mr Yellin said.

“We’re creating a dating site in a new way between a person and a title. We want to create a great love story. We want you to love what you watch.

“We put them in communities based on others who watch what they tend to watch and it helps us percent match what kind of titles.”

The new “thumbs up, thumbs down” system has a similar appearance to the “like” feature on Facebook.

But Mr Yellin said: “Facebook uses it in a social way. Their thumbs up is very different.

“It’s not about social sharing. This is about making your Netflix experience within your world better.”

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