With the old system, Netflix found that users would rate content they watched less often more highly.
The addition of a thumbs up/thumbs down feature, while effectively replacing the 5-star rating system, would fundamentally change a person's daily interactions with Netflix. That might be because there's no middle ground, like the two- to four-star ratings.
The change to the ratings system will happen in April, Yellin said.
Yellin gave the example of an Adam Sandler movie that someone might give three stars to, but then watch repeatedly, versus a foreign-language documentary that might receive five stars but the person watches only once.
The system will introduce a new percent-match feature that shows how good of a match any given show or movie is for an individual subscriber. Content that lines up with what users have shown to be their preferences via their pattern of viewing, will display percentage based compatibility.
"The star ratings represented compatibility - not quality", Netflix spokesperson Smita Saran said in an email. Schumer referenced a Split Sider analysis that said alt-right groups who organized on Reddit may have brought the ratings down. "It makes me feel so powerful and unsafe and courageous". And at the end of the day, it's really about just getting more people to rate things. But over time, Netflix realized that star ratings were less relevant than other signals.
Yellin says that the new system was AB tested in the first half of 2016 with hundreds of thousands of users, bumping the amount of ratings Netflix was receiving by 200 hundred percent.
"Facebook uses it in a social way".
The ramifications are a little less serious for an entertainment company - the future of the government isn't on the line, for one - but the fear is the same.
Netflix has stuck with its standard five-star rating system for years, but the streaming service soon plans to make a subtle tweak to the tool.
Do you think the thumbs up will result in better Netflix user experience?