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Netflix to Replace User Reviews With Up or Down Votes

07 July 2018

The removal rollout will happen in stages: by July 30, you won't be able to write new reviews for shows and movies on the streaming service. But some titles have garnered a strong outpouring of feedback: Its popular original series "Stranger Things", for example, now has 3,897 reviews on the Netflix U.S. site. It retired that rating system and replaced it in April of 2017 with a simpler thumbs up or thumbs down button which Netflix uses to refine its personalized recommendations. As such, Netflix says they've seen a decline in users taking part in reviews and they've made a decision to just do away with it entirely. Currently, users can submit and read reviews for TV shows and movies when browsing the service on desktop, but that feature isn't long for this world.

Now, some of you who just use the mobile or TV Netflix app might be thinking: what review archive?

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Netflix representative Smita Saran told CNET that the company already notified users about the imminent change to the service's feedback system. However, Netflix has called the 5-star system "a misunderstood hero", making it clear that it was always created to be a predictive device, not a soapbox or a quantitative measure of popularity. According to a recent report from Variety, Netflix saw a 200 percent increase in ratings by users with the "thumbs up/thumbs down" system during its testing. Point being, what they're doing is working and it's clear that the user reviews simply weren't helping them grow their subscriber base and that's their bottom line. And I doubt that a significant portion of the desktop Netflix users ever utilized those reviews as a tool to decide whether or not to watch a particular piece of media. This news was previously reported by CNET.

Netflix to Replace User Reviews With Up or Down Votes