I’m a Netflix Stream Team member and receive complimentary streaming service. I’m also a die-hard fan of the brand and love sharing the latest and greatest with fellow subscribers! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Last month I got to hang with some great folks from Netflix and learned a bit more about some super exciting developments, included a forthcoming original show I can’t tell you anything about (except that it is REALLY good!), and the switch from a star rating system for things you watch to a simple thumbs up/thumbs down model.
I’m a human, and therefore, am not super big on change. My knee-jerk reaction to the news was, “NOOOOOOO!!!!!” Followed by, “WHY????????”.
Fortunately, Netflix had an answer for me, and what I quickly realized is that the goal is 100% to make the Netflix user experience even better. Netflix has absolutely no desire to make you a less satisfied customer and only make changes when they will result in something better for you as a member.
So let’s dig into the new rating system and why it happened. And to do that, we need to back up a little bit and look at the star rating system. This system was always designed to give users very personalized feedback. The ratings weren’t intended to be viewed as “across the board” ratings (in other words, Netflix never intended users to assume that a 1 star picture was a dud for EVERYONE…it actually meant that Netflix predicts it will be a dud for YOU).
After looking at the discrepancy between the intention of the star ratings and the way users interpreted them, and after collecting feedback from users on ease of use, the thumbs up/down system was born. And while it is going to make it more difficult for you to rate something that you liked “just ok”, by getting you to commit one way or the other, Netflix is actually going to get even better at serving up recommended content, as well as letting you know when a program is more likely to miss the mark for you.
Here’s a brief video that breaks down the change a bit more.
I’d love to hear what you think about the thumbs rating system now that you understand the rationale behind it a bit better. Any questions you have about it that you’d like me to pass on to the folks at Netflix? Just leave a comment below!