Netflix is updating its rating system – it’s got two thumbs up now. On Monday, the world’s largest subscription-based video streaming service announced that it would offer a third thumbs-based option to provide feedback on what you’re watching. In addition to Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down, Netflix members can vote for a title with “Two Thumbs Up.” Think of it as a way to express greater satisfaction. If a thumbs up is something to like, two thumbs up let you know Love Netflix is launching a new rating metric from today, and it will be available next to the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down buttons in the Netflix app for TV, Android, iPhone and Netflix.com on the web.
Why Netflix is launching two thumbs up
“We’ve heard from members that it’s very important for them to distinguish between the title they really like and only the title they like. And so, we’ve created this feature, tested it, and we’re launching it [now] Globally, ”Christine Dieg-Cardett, Netflix’s director of product innovation, told Gadgets360 last week. In a blog post on Monday, he added: “Consider two thumbs up as a way to fine tune your recommendations. A thumbs up still lets us know what you like, so we use this response to make similar recommendations. But a two thumbs up gives us Say what you like and help us make your recommendations more specific
For example, if you like The Fame Game starring the recently released Abhishek Bachchan-starrer Dasvi or Madhuri Dixit Nen – I personally want to hear from you – then Netflix will add weight to other movies and series that include its cast members. Or those that came from its creators, such as Karan Johar’s Dharmatik which created the latter. This applies to every Netflix headline. If you like Bridgeton’s second season, which dropped to Netflix in late March, you might want to pick up more shows or cast movies – or its producer from the home of Shondland.
What’s the value of two thumbs up though? Is it double the thumbs up? That will be understood after all. Doug-Cardett told me that there is no “predetermined weight”, rather, it’s just “another input that goes into our personalization. What you see, what you like, what you dislike, and two thumbs up is just another input. It knows.” That this is going to be a stronger signal than just a choice, but there is no predetermined weight. “
And why Netflix is moving away from its binary system
Two Thumbs Up is the first major change in Netflix’s rating system in half a decade. Nearly five years from today, Netflix has abandoned its star rating system – allowing you to rate titles on a scale of one to five stars – in favor of binary one: thumbs up or down. At the time, Netflix said it would eliminate friction and simplify the whole process. Now, with Netflix to Thumbs up, it’s getting a bit more complicated, as it brings back some level of gradation. Why is Netflix going against itself? Did it make sense that the binary system was too simplistic?
“What we heard directly from our members was that they wanted to get a broad spectrum of emotions to explain a headline,” Ratna Desai, director of personalization design at Netflix, told Gadgets360. There is a dialogue around, because it can improve the recommendation in a new way. What we have here is another way to understand the tastes of our members and their evolving tastes. The binary system was certainly something that members were involved in, but was limited. Now, we’re finding new ways to look at our relationships with members. “
But wait, what about my already-rated title?
Naturally, you can go back and change the ratings of movies and series you have rated in the past. Netflix has hinted that it could make it easier for users to do so through a new user interface, although Desai and Doug-Cardet have stopped publishing any specific information. They noted how positively the two thumbs-ups were received during the test.
“We’ve been testing this feature for months, and in fact, we’ve been surprised at how much they’ve been working with the headers already seen to update that input, now that they know they have that option,” said Doug-Cardett. “So we’re not too concerned, because the feature has a lot of use, not just like the newly-launched title, but people have already seen and rated it in the past.”
“It goes to the point where they have a desire to fine-tune their tastes, and some subset members are interested in doing it,” Desai added. “The fact that they’re going to go back in time and re-evaluate these headlines shows us that there is such a desire and motivation for an unfulfilled need.”
Can I get two thumbs down?
Now that Netflix has abandoned the binary system and expanded its thumbs-down approach, does that open up the possibility of a “two thumbs down” option? Doig-Cardet returned it to users and told Gadgets 360: “Yes, if the numbers indicate that this is something they want. At the moment, we don’t have that kind of indication. Members want more feedback from the negative to the positive.”
Obviously, no one is listening to me. Insert a sad smiley face here