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Netflix replaces star ratings with thumbs, because we’re simple creatures

I know the biggest issue I’ve ever faced while binging Black Mirror was extending my brain too far when considering if the episode in which a prime minister is asked to have intimate relations with a pig should get a four or five star rating. I don’t use Netflix to think — and they’ve finally acknowledged it.

The streaming service has announced that it’s ditching the star rating system in favour of a YouTube-like thumbs up or down button. As of April, when you’re pouring the last of your chips into your mouth, you only need to acknowledge your base emotional response.

Nuance be damned.

According to Netflix VP of Product, Todd Yellin, I’m not the only human who finds it easier to feel than to think.

Netflix’s star rating system is no more, instead giving way to a thumbs system

“Five stars feels very yesterday now,” Yellin said, according to The Verge.

“What’s more powerful: you telling me you would give five stars to the documentary about unrest in the Ukraine; that you’d give three stars to the latest Adam Sandler movie; or that you’d watch the Adam Sandler movie ten times more frequently?”

Apparently people watch Adam Sandler movies more than once, but that’s another article altogether…

The new rating system was tested last year with hundred of thousands of users — and, as it turns out, people were 200% more likely to use the thumbs option than the stars.

But, wait, there’s more: Netflix is planning a system that sets us up with content that best matches our profiles. It’s even going to give us an OKCupid-like percentage match. Love has never felt more real.

And, according to Netflix, love has never been more global. The streaming service has found that borders and language barriers mean little in the way of romance nowadays — many members are open to watching subtitled shows produced in foreign countries. I guess we really are all one love and all that.

So sit back, relax and toss aside that pesky critical thought — Netflix is in the business of emotions, and you’re welcome along for the ride.

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More

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