Netflix Lets You Give Two Thumbs Up With New Rating System

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Netflix Lets You Give Two Thumbs Up With New Rating System
Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix users can now profess their love for a title not just with a heart, star or single thumbs up—but with the Siskel and Ebert-approved rating system of two thumbs up.

The streaming service is aiming to further personalize its recommendations with the new "two thumbs up" button, which it is rolling out across TV, desktop and mobile devices today, according to TechCrunch. The feature adds another digit to Netflix’s existing, one-thumb-up-or-down rating system, and arrives after the streaming giant had A/B tested the double-thumb option alongside a short-lived heart button over the summer.

Subscribers now have three options to review Netflix's content: two thumbs up, one thumb up and thumbs down. Thumbs down will see Netflix's algorithm avoid related titles, while a thumbs up will help curate that content into a feed. With a double-thumbs up, a reviewer is saying they’re a huge fan, allowing for more specific recommendations. According to a statement from Netflix director of product innovation Christine Doig-Cardet, various trials revealed that users preferred the double-thumbs option to just having a single one.

“We’ve learned over time that these feelings can go beyond a simple like or dislike,” Doig-Cardet said. “Providing an additional way to tell us when you’re really into something means a profile with recommendations that better reflect what you enjoy.”

Netflix's homepage will reflect specific content based on this input—such as recommending other Shondaland productions after a viewer gives “Bridgerton” two thumbs up—to narrow suggestions and reduce scrolling. The new feature may also impact the “Most Liked” badge that certain shows boast after many users have thumbed them up.

Netflix’s user input options have undergone plenty of trials through the years. The streaming service initiated the thumb-based binary in 2017 after its previous five-star rating system was overtaken by users bombarding specific titles with low ratings. In 2018, Netflix cited declining use as the reason behind deleting all title-specific user reviews from their website. Other platforms have capitalized on different streaming services' lackluster recommendations; notably, newcomer Plex is condensing multiple services into one platform complete with its own algorithmic suggestions.

The additional thumbs up is Netflix’s latest attempt to further engage with users. Last month, the company
acquired Finnish game developer Next Games for $72 million as it continues its push into mobile gaming. The streaming site is also venturing into interactive TV shows like “Trivia Quest," which premiered earlier this month. Netflix is also attempting to stay on top of viewing trends, with its content library expanding to include more anime titles following a spike in the cartoon genre’s popularity last year.

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