The five-star rating and likes used by “Aiyouteng” are outdated, and Netflix wants to subvert the rating system of streaming media

What is the difference between "like" and "super like"?

According to Netflix, they are separated by a thumbs up.

Once upon a time, to rate a show or movie on Netflix, just click or like it, namely Thumbs Down and Thumbs Up.

But now, Netflix believes that black and white statements are no longer enough.

▲ Picture from: netflix

From April 11th, "Double Thumbs Up" (double thumbs up) will appear as a third option, in the form of "more like than like", to help you choose the content you really enjoy.

Use your thumbs and you're a real fan!

Netflix's explanation of the three options is:

Thumbs down: We won't suggest this again.
Thumbs up: We'll show you more like this.
Thumbs up: We know you're a true fan! We know you're a true fan!

Why add a "thumbs up" to the familiar like and tap gestures?

▲ Picture from: netflix

According to Netflix's recommendation algorithm, users who insist on likes or dislikes will get more recommended recommendations.

However, according to user feedback, likes and dislikes are not enough to express their feelings. They hope to add another way to make "like" and "love" slightly different, so that Netflix's recommendations can better correspond to their own preferences.

"Two thumbs up" is another way Netflix has introduced it, which acts as a "fine-tuned recommendation".

"Thumbs up" can still express what you "like", and Netflix will continue to make similar recommendations based on viewing history, or how and when you watched it.

▲ Picture from: netflix

But "thumbs up" is always different.

Users can use it to tell Netflix that they have a soft spot for a specific content , including starring, production team, character type, niche drama type, etc., and Netflix's recommendations can be more specific.

For example, if you liked "Bridgetons" with two thumbs, you might see more shows or movies from the original cast or production company Shondaland; if you liked "I Ben Strong, you might see more comedies with quirky characters.

▲ Netflix's 2021 hit drama "Bridgeton Family". Picture from: Douban

So, "thumbs up" and "thumbs up" have their own meanings. Jiang Jiazhi, a product manager who has worked in the industry for more than ten years, told Aifaner:

"Two thumbs up" combined with the user's social graph can greatly improve the accuracy and pertinence of recommendations. "Single thumb up" is most valuable to a work's overall ranking, user group statistics and other indicators. There is no problem of high or low weight between the two, only the operational purposes of the data indicators are different.

Seeing this, you may think of a question: Will "thumbs down" appear?

▲ Picture from: The Mac Observer

In an interview with Business Insider , Netflix isn't dead, but at least not in the short term, because they don't see the same level of engagement with likes versus likes:

"Users tend to have positive expressions, telling us what kind of content the more the better."

User habits are superficial, and the more fundamental reason is that Netflix hopes to follow such user habits, improve the recommendation algorithm, and retain more users. Jiang Jiazhi believes that:

The key to Netflix's user growth and commercial success is to continuously improve the recommendation algorithm to make "guess what you like" more and more accurate. "I don't like it very much" has no positive contribution to the optimization of the recommendation algorithm; "I like it" and "I especially like it" can help a platform with a large enough user base to more accurately grasp and optimize the recommendation algorithm.

That's why, Netflix says "Thumbs Down" won't be available for now, and is enthusiastic about "Thumbs Up":

"Don't be shy! Express yourself on Netflix and tell us what you're passionate about. You know what you want."

Compared with the likes and dislikes, the five-star system is out earlier

In fact, Netflix's "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" weren't there from the start.

In April 2017, Netflix did away with the traditional five-star rating system and replaced it with simpler like or tap gestures to indicate likes or dislikes.

▲ Picture from: netflix

The reason is the same as this time adding the "thumbs up" option – to optimize the recommendation algorithm.

First of all, likes and dislikes are more convenient than five-star ratings and attract more users to participate.

In a beta test, Netflix rolled out the Like and Dislike gestures to hundreds of thousands of new Netflix subscribers around the world and saw a more than 200% increase in review behavior.

Second, Netflix wants people to choose what they want to enjoy, and to follow their intuition, rather than trying to be a critic, judging whether they're watching a good or a bad movie in terms of quality.

This is the two evaluation systems of five-star rating, likes and steps, which bring different subconsciousness to people. Todd Yellin, then VP of product at Netflix, put it this way:

For a five-star rating, you might give a documentary about unrest 5 stars and a comedy movie 3 stars, but maybe you'll watch a comedy movie 10 times more. What you actually do is different from what you say you like.
But when it comes to liking or disliking, people have an implicit understanding that it's just to improve their experience.

Fundamentally, a five-star rating is inappropriate for Netflix, a streaming site with a recommendation algorithm at its core that tries to guess your favorite streaming site.

▲ Picture from: the verge

A five-star rating of "duplicity" will cause anomalies in the data. The viewing time statistics of a movie may be considerable, but the star rating is very low. In this case, the correlation between star ratings and user behavior is not so high, which causes trouble for the recommendation algorithm.

Moreover, the five-star rating is based on the rating of each individual user, and the average value is calculated, which is not conducive to the improvement of the accuracy of the recommendation algorithm.

Before changing the rating system, Netflix had more than 10 billion "five-star" reviews . In this regard, Todd Yellin pointed out:

We spend billions of dollars on self-producing and bringing in content, and the five-star rating system only adds to the challenge of these massive catalogs, and it's very important to get the stuff people actually want to see.

All of the above made Netflix decide to forego five-star ratings and look for signals more relevant to users' actual viewing behavior.

Echoing this, in October 2021, Netflix released a ranking of movies and series based on total hours watched over a 28-day period, stating that "time watched is a better indicator of our overall performance."

▲ Picture from: code 2021

In short, what Netflix wants you to like and what you really enjoy, you are more comfortable choosing what, and then Netflix will recommend more content in this area for you, even if you are watching a 2-star bad movie on Douban, But the joy you get out of it is enough to give it a thumbs up.

Nowadays, like, tap, and then add "thumbs up", in fact, a "three-star rating system" has been formed.

Ycle Schu, the head of the video business of a mobile phone manufacturer, told Aifaner that the best solution for the recommendation algorithm should be the three-star rating system, that is, “dislike”, “like”, “like enough to be shared or recommended”:

When the five-star system was stopped in 2017, Netflix chose the two-star system, that is, dislike, like. Now a new double thumb has been added to form the Samsung system.
The video account has also faced this problem, but it has changed very quickly. I didn’t like it before, and I liked it enough to be worth sharing or recommending. Later, I added a private like in a low-key way, but I actually like it.

▲ Picture from: CNET

Jiang Jiazhi also believes that the three-star rating system is more suitable for Netflix users than the five-star rating and binary likes and dislikes:

The three-star rating system can not only capture individual preferences more clearly, but also reflect users' preferences for a movie more realistically through Netflix's massive user preference statistics.

Netflix, do everything possible to "guess you like it"

In the final analysis, as a streaming media Netflix, it is to improve the recommendation algorithm, keep you with a more accurate "guess you like it", help you solve the fatigue of selection, and make it easier to find the content you want to watch and enjoy it.

As early as 2000, Netflix launched a personalized movie recommendation system based on viewing history ratings, and found that users were often unsure of which movie they wanted to watch, and would give up if it took more than 90 seconds to find a movie.

When the time comes to 2022, Christine Doig-Cardet, director of product innovation at Netflix, told The verge :

Never before have users had so many entertainment options. It's really important to be able to find shows and movies that you'll love. We want to continue to make Netflix the easiest place to choose what to watch.

▲ Image from: shutterstock

Replacing five-star ratings with likes and dislikes, and replacing likes and dislikes with a three-star rating system is the same principle.

In addition to these, Netflix has other "guess you like" features and tools.

In 2017, along with likes and dislikes was the "percent match" feature , which refers to how well a show or movie matches a single subscriber. A show that is very much to the user's taste may have a 98% match value, but a match score below 50% will not show a match score.

▲ Picture from: Reuters

Similar to Netflix now not doing "thumbs down", percentage matching also tends to be a positive encouragement.

In February 2020, Netflix launched the Top 10 feature , which updates the most popular content in a user's country or region on a daily basis, and the exact order will vary depending on how relevant the content is to the user. In addition to the overall top 10, there are also the top 10 for each category.

▲ Picture from: netflix

All of the above are common, and selected episodes and movies also have a special Top 10 badge no matter where they appear on Netflix.

In this way, whether users are searching or browsing the interface, they can learn about popular trends faster and more easily, or become a flame that boosts popularity.

In April 2021, Netflix launched the "Play Something" feature , which is the right medicine for the "late stage of difficult choice".

▲ Picture from: netflix

"Play Something" isn't a completely random option, it recommends brand new episodes or movies, something you've already started watching, and something on your watchlist based on your history, profile, and user taste.

Netflix has been called by The Verge as one of the "most user-centric" platforms in streaming; Netflix has also said it has improved over and over again in order to "give more control back to users to help them tailor the experience to their personal preferences" ".

We made our choices with these functions, but it is hard to say whether this autonomy is in our hands or in the hands of the platform.

▲ Image via: Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock

Because they are very personal and completely follow the orientation of interest, they may form an "information cocoon room" in the field of film and television — habitually guided by their own interests and aesthetics, so as to shackle their life in a "cocoon room" like a silkworm cocoon "middle.

Based on the subscription logic of Internet users, streaming media has formed a unique consumption model. Netflix and the users it hopes to retain, one side reaps benefits, and the other side reaps efficiency. In addition to enjoying, we might as well be a little wary of this "guess you like it" dominated by technical rationality.

Li Ruoqiuhuang, to exorcise evil. Working email: [email protected]

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