Netflix ditches star rating system for ‘thumbs up, thumbs down’

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NEW YORK — From now on, rating Netflix movies will be a bit like using a dating app.

At 9 a.m. ET Wednesday, Netflix’s five-star rating system vanished. In its place are “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” buttons.

And Netflix will no longer show you a star rating of films you’ve never seen. Instead, it’ll offer a “% Match score” — which is a prediction of how much you’ll enjoy a movie or TV show based on your viewing habits. It doesn’t factor in how other users have rated the video.

Netflix said in a promo video about the launch that the stars have been a “misunderstood hero.” They’ve always reflected what Netflix predicts a particular viewer will enjoy — and they’ve never represented an average user rating, the company said.

“We’ve all gotten used to star ratings on e-commerce and review apps, where rating contributes to an overall average,” Netflix said in a blog post. “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.”

Netflix said that during tests of the thumbs system, it saw a 200% increase in ratings activity.

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