Netflix adds ‘double thumbs up’ rating option

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Netflix has added a “double thumbs up” feature to allow viewers to tell its algorithms that they really, really like something.

“Our current Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down buttons are a good way for you to tell us how you feel about a series or film, and in return, you get a profile that’s better personalized to your taste. However, we’ve learned over time that these feelings can go beyond a simple like or dislike. Providing an additional way to tell us when you’re really into something means a profile with recommendations that better reflect what you enjoy,” the company wrote in a post announcing the feature.

The feature has been added to TV, web, Android and iOS platforms as of April 11, 2022.

Users should now see three “thumbs”-themed icons in these interfaces — one of which, not surprisingly, features two thumbs next to each other. That’s the “double thumbs up” feature and selecting it will let Netflix know the title is something you really enjoyed.

The idea, Netflix says, is to help combat the common complaint that, even with hundreds of thousands of films and TV episodes available to stream, consumers often still complain that “there’s nothing to watch.”

This can lead users to see their streaming subscriptions as less valuable — and this is a challenge that most streamers face.

Gathering better user feedback can also help users discover content they might not have been familiar with or realized was available on a particular platform, which not only has the potential to help with user retention but also capitalizes on the billions of dollars streamers like Netflix invest in licensing fees and producing original content by potentially getting more eyeballs on it.

Netflix has long used the “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” language and iconography as a way for viewers to rate content.

If that phrasing sounds sort of familiar, it’s because film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert once famously coined the term “Two thumbs up!” as a way to express films they both really liked. They even trademarked the term, though it has since expired, which isn’t surprising given that both film critics have since died.

However, it’s worth noting Netflix essentially replaced the word “two” with “double.”

With the new feature, there’s also the inevitable question of it a “double thumbs down” option might be added. Netflix didn’t mention that in its announcements and it’s possible that the company might want to keep ratings options as simple as possible and has determined that known what people really like is more valuable than known if they really didn’t like it.