Netflix Apps Will Today Begin Ditching Star-Based Rating System for Thumbs

Netflix has announced that users will today begin noticing its new thumbs-up and thumbs-down rating system as it appears across various apps and on desktop computers, following a reveal earlier in March that the streaming company was planning to ditch its 5-star rating system.

In the previous system, users had to choose between 1 and 5 stars to determine how much they liked a show, and using that data Netflix displayed the same information back at them for titles they have yet to watch. So for a new TV show, Netflix might suggest it as a 4-star title, meaning it's something the user should enjoy. This system confused many users over the years, who believed that the stars were a community aggregate of a show's overall quality, not a personal recommendation system tailored for each user.


That'll begin changing today with thumbs, which will ask each user to decide simply whether they want to give a TV show or movie they've watched a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, which Netflix compares to dating apps like Tinder in a new promotional video also debuting today.
We are retiring our 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 us know you aren’t interested in watching that title and we should stop suggesting it to you. You can still search for it, but we’ve heard what you were trying to tell us -- you aren’t a fan -- and it will no longer show up on your homepage.

In either case, using thumbs helps us learn even more about your unique tastes so we can do a better job suggesting stories we think you’ll love.
With this data, users will also begin seeing far simpler percentage numbers accompanying unseen titles they might be interested in. Called a "% Match score," Netflix said that this is a prediction of what its algorithm thinks each user might enjoy watching based on what they've previously given a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. So a show they might be particularly interested in would have a "95% Match," for example.


Netflix wasn't clear on when the new rating system would begin appearing across its devices, like iOS and tvOS, but it's likely to debut on Netflix.com ahead of the company's suite of companion apps.

Tag: Netflix


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3 weeks ago
I had no idea that the stars were a reflection of how much Netflix thought I would like the movie or TV show! If that were the case, it was quite often way off. I turned away several choices because of a low rating.

The comments aren't much help either. All over the map.
Rating: 5 Votes
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3 weeks ago
This switch has been long over-due in several publicly reviewed areas. People doling out stars like professional movie critics—giving and taking at their whims—doesn't really serve anybody. All we need to know is "Are you glad you watched/read/whatever this thing?"
Rating: 3 Votes
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3 weeks ago

I know I'll get flamed for saying it, however this is an Apple rumours site or has it been renamed NetflixRumors?

Having said that, I found this article quite interesting as I also didn't realise how the star system really worked. It might explain why some real cr*p seemed to inexplicably have a high rating.

Popular/userful/interesting apps and services that get used (or can be used) on Apppe devices get coverage on sites like this. Pretty much how it's been for quite some time.
Rating: 3 Votes
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3 weeks ago
In response to Amy Schumer's historically bad star ratings?

Rating: 3 Votes
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3 weeks ago
Wow, it's doubtful many people understood the star rating. One would naturally assume that the number of stars was the mean average of all users ratings. Now we find out it has nothing to do with that & they were "fake" stars.
What a retarded & misleading rating system!

The most logical rating system is thumbs up/thumbs down (tomato/smashed tomato) with user percentages like used in rotten tomatoes. Nothing mysterious about that. Someone at nextflix really over thought the rating system last time to the point that it was meaningless & worthless.
Rating: 2 Votes
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3 weeks ago
I learn something new every day.
Today I learned that Netflix has been (unintentionally?) deceiving me for years.
Rating: 2 Votes
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3 weeks ago

Many other people also only use two ratings-- but they use the more expressive "1 or 5" pair. You must be a blast at parties! :p


Sounds more bipolar than expressive.

I dont party at the asylum.
Rating: 1 Votes
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3 weeks ago

People doling out stars like professional movie critics—giving and taking at their whims—doesn't really serve anybody. All we need to know is "Are you glad you watched/read/whatever this thing?"


Who is ‘we’? The public? Netflix?

Netflix is more interested in your behaviour than your opinion. If they were interested in what you truly thought about a film/series, they would not do this. ‘Liking’ something does not tell you anything about how much a film/series means to you. I like anything with 3–5 stars, but I would still prefer to see more stuff that I would give 5 stars. Now I cannot give this feedback anymore. I was always under the impression that Netflix looked closely at your ratings to determine your personal recommendations. It seems that this did not matter after all.

I think that's the reason why the hatred towards thumbs has come up: people think Netflix is moving from community ratings to personal ratings when in fact it's just making personal ratings easier to understand.


They just needed to replace the ‘red stars’ with something else, like a different icon or percentage points. Taking away tools to give more granular feedback about a film/series is not the right approach to me.
Rating: 1 Votes
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3 weeks ago

Agree the previous AT3 one was much better, although it wasn't going to win any beauty pageants. The difference? The previous UI was Apple designed. The new UI fail is all Netflix.

The Netflix app on AppleTV 4 is a mess. The sizing of the thumbnails is absurdly awkward, ridiculous content shrink on the end of every show, just a tremendously poor use of screen real estate all around. The sorting categories on the main page are incredibly redundant, an obvious cheat to make their content library seem bigger.

From launch it's a disaster with the obnoxious profile selector front page (we only use one at home). Why does that even show up for accounts only using a single (or no) 'profile'?

Maybe Netflix can turn firing their UI designers into a show? I'd watch that.


You made some good points.

Agree the previous AT3 one was much better, although it wasn't going to win any beauty pageants.

This is basically the biggest flaw imo, although it is a small one. The ATV4 Netflix app visually looks nicer, but the UI is not very user friendly when compared to the ATV3 version.

ridiculous content shrink on the end of every show

And you cannot make it back into full screen again. I wish this "feature" could be disabled.

sorting categories on the main page are incredibly redundant

Another issue with this is that the categories are not in a set order. I am sure I am not the only one that uses "recently played" or "my list" category regularly. Why do I have to go search for it all the time.

Maybe Netflix can turn firing their UI designers into a show? I'd watch that.

The thing is, the ATV4 version is similar to other non-ATV3 Netflix apps I have seen. While I find the ATV4 version to suck more than a crackwhore mother on the last day of the month, many people are used to it, and find the ATV3 version, once they use it, to be odd. I guess they like the endless swiping to find stuff to watch.

I personally think the ATV3, while not the prettiest version, is a simple, easiest to use Netflix app, and it does this while giving a lot more useful information, like actors, directors, related shows...
Rating: 1 Votes
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3 weeks ago

Popular/userful/interesting apps and services that get used (or can be used) on Apppe devices get coverage on sites like this. Pretty much how it's been for quite some time.


See. I told you. ;-)
Rating: 1 Votes
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