Super Like: Netflix adds double thumbs up button

Daniel Sims

Posts: 455   +18
Staff
What just happened? Netflix announced this week that a double thumbs-up button is coming. The new feature is the result of user feedback and months of testing. The move is a half-step back from when Netflix switched from star ratings to thumbs a few years ago.

A double thumbs up button is coming to Netflix's TV, web, and mobile apps. Clicking it influences Netflix's content recommendation algorithm more strongly than the regular thumb up and thumb down buttons the streaming service has used since 2017.

Netflix says it's spent almost a year testing the new button. Subscribers had told the company that the existing ratings buttons were too binary. They wanted to show that they didn't just like a program, but loved it.

A heart might seem like the most obvious symbol for indicating favorites, but Netflix tested it against the double thumbs up for months, and the latter ultimately prevailed. It complements the thumb buttons that are already there, and might be more globally recognizable than a heart. Other candidates included applause, shooting star, and party popper icons.

In 2017, Netflix replaced its five-star rating system with the simpler thumbs. Giving viewers three ratings buttons instead could be a good middle-ground between two which could feel limiting, and five which could seem ambiguous.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,207   +4,246
I'm not convinced this works. This is getting much closer to people leaving an actual review of 1 to 5 stars since now they've got 4 general states from dislike to neutral, to like and to strong like. The interesting thing is that from the perspective of a company like Netflix this is not as useful as you might think: When people are asked to think critically they swing their vote quite a bit towards either the positive or the negative when in reality, if they're not being asked to "rate" something they're more likely to engage with something they *say* they don't like and also likely to not engage as much with something they say they *do* like.

We've seen this with for example, the preference for coffee: People like to *say* they prefer black coffee: no milk and no sugar because that's the perception of a "Coffee connoisseur" as the pure, essential drink. We as people tend to adapt and internalize that vision of "Oh this is so complex! So rich! Nice toast! I love the fruit notes!" and such because we've seen reviews of fancy coffee.

But 99% of the time, you buy something relatively cheap, put it on your regular coffee maker (No fancy aereo or french press or freshly ground beans) and put a bunch of milk and sugar. You drink it since it's familiar, unremarkable but *nice* to have in the mornings. These are 2 very different experiences and the way you sell coffee is *very* different if you want to sell very high end, expensive grains vs if you just want to sell the super saver extra large by the pound sacks and cans on a supermarket shelf.

This is the same for movies: There's a distinct difference between the movies you rate very highly as you put on your "Film critique" hat on and try to be insightful and deep about the experience, and the movies and show you are likely to actually click on and subscribe for on Netflix: everyone will praise oscar bait movies but watch them VERY sparingly and likely only once then forget about them but a comedy special or an action flick? That's the kind of thing people keep coming back for and keep paying for.

So the double thumbs? Not very useful because it makes people think more about their choice and step a bit closer and try to trick the algorithm into what they *think* they want to see but when presented with those choices, will actually watch *less* than stuff they wouldn't even rate or even rate poorly but watch because it's there, simple and straight forward.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,247
Why is it so damn hard to just give a Thumb Up, Thumb Down, Love (heart), Laugh emoji, or Disgusted emoji?

With just those 5, we could have HONESTY on all forums and social medias.

 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 838   +1,449
I never paid much attention to the Netflix rating, but I could swear that about a year ago as I was fighting with the super slow responsiveness of my TCL Roku TV (thing moves like molasses) that I came across something I had not known was even there.

I was pushing buttons faster that then TV was responding to and as I sat there for about 10 seconds waiting for the TV to catch up, I ended up on the ratings (thumb up/down) and there was a third option that said something like "Love it". I had never seen that option before because it's not visible on the normal view where the thumb up/down is.

I never used the "Love it" rating, but it was there for a while.

The problem I have with the rating system is that the wife will rate stupid shows she watches one or two episodes of and never comes back to them again, ever and then I have random, dumb glamor or new house shows and awful (make you want to gouge your eyes out and puncture your eardrums) reality type shows. I have to spend time going through and thumbing down all the stupid shows she's put a thumbs up on and never watched or hasn't watched for years.

The one thing that pisses me off the most with Netflix is when they take "My List" and it's down 10 rows or sometimes it is just gone. Oh well, I don't spend much time on Netflix anymore so I guess I don't really care what they do with their rating options. Mostly the 9 year old is watching kid shows on it. No one else really uses it anymore so I'm getting close to dropping our sub.
 

Gmachine

Posts: 38   +52
Trying to boost the ratings for woke content. For every down vote for woke material, they want to counteract it with double like. This is flawed because if the 5 star ratings were brought back, most of their content won't be down voted to oblivion.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,247
Trying to boost the ratings for woke content. For every down vote for woke material, they want to counteract it with double like. This is flawed because if the 5 star ratings were brought back, most of their content won't be down voted to oblivion.


Excellent explanation
 

Phyrino

Posts: 37   +48
If they could just add an "ignore" button or just not recommend stuff I've down voted I would be much happier.
 

tellmewhy

Posts: 183   +86
There are many people who tend to hit like or dislike for very shallow reasons. For example, men when they see a beautiful woman they click like as women on the other side click dislike for this reason. Does this say anything about the quality of a movie?
The movie can also get dislikes because it contains violent scenes, or scenes with car chases, guns, meat eating or even just because it is not a cartoon (dislikes from children) etc. And we didn't even mention votes from bots.
 

Aaron Fox

Posts: 153   +90
Trying to boost the ratings for woke content. For every down vote for woke material, they want to counteract it with double like. This is flawed because if the 5 star ratings were brought back, most of their content won't be down voted to oblivion.
That only makes sense if that content has the double upvote option and nothing else does.