It had been rumored that Netflix was preparing to drop the star system it currently uses to provide feedback to users in favor of a thumbs system and that is exactly what the company has today announced, with Netflix confirming that one of the reasons for this change is to simplify the overall process. So instead of having to select whether a movie was three or four stars, the user can now simply hit the thumbs up icon – telling Netflix that they liked it. By the same token, if a user does not like a specific title, they can just thumbs down it and not have to worry about trying to decide whether it was one or two star bad.
In terms of Netflix providing the user with suggestions – this also seems to be one of the key reasons behind the change, as Netflix explains that the star system had led to some confusion, with some assuming three starts meant that a movie has accumulated a three star status based on feedback from all Netflix users. When instead, the star system is supposed to tell the user that a movie or TV show is considered three stars for them – based on their usual viewing habits.
So to avoid the confusion going forward, not only will a user not be able to use stars to rate a movie or TV show, but they will also no longer see stars when checking through titles. Instead, Netflix will be adopting a much more ‘it’s a match’ type of interface where Netflix will percentage-based inform the user of how much of a match a movie or show might be for them. For example, if Netflix thinks the latest installment of House of Cards is a bit of a gamble watch for you, then you will likely see a 50% rating. Likewise, if Netflix is sure that Stranger Things is right up your street, then you will likely see a 90%+ rating displayed – as shown in the image above. But don’t worry, if you have spent extensive periods of time fine tuning your Netflix star system, Netflix has confirmed that the information you have provided will continue to be used to provide you with relevant suggestions – just now in a percentage form. If you already have the app installed on your Android device, then it looks like the updated thumb and percentage version is already in the process of rolling out.