Netflix Has Officially Gotten Rid Of User Reviews, Here's Why

Netflix's logo in 2018

Netflix is constantly tinkering and making changes to its service. Often this means content is swapped out, sometimes this means pricing tiers change, and occasionally the service makes changes to formatting, as well. A short while ago we learned the subscription streaming service would be getting rid of its user reviews, and now it looks as if Netflix has stuck to its guns and followed through with pulling reviews. Now, we know a bit more about why the move was made, at least according to the service. The streaming service already has a page about its removed review content, noting,

Netflix customers were able to leave reviews on until mid-2018, when reviews were removed due to declining use. To learn how Netflix suggests TV shows and movies we think you'll love, visit our Ratings & Recommendations article.

The change has been fairly swift and was done on a schedule. We knew the reviews were supposed to be taken off quickly, and now the service has clarified why. Apparently, declining use was the culprit for the lack of reviews, at least if you ask the subscription streaming service. Not one to rest on its laurels, Netflix ultimately opted to pull reviews from the service and its app, which means if you want to look into watching something via Netflix, you'll have to look elsewhere for user critiques and viewpoints. Luckily, if you are a person who relies on reviews, there are a lot of different places you can look on the internet for them.

For Netflix (opens in new tab), the reviews may have been a lot to keep up with, because they were user populated, and they may not have reflected user preferences. Because of this, if they were being used by fewer and fewer members, it's easy to see Netflix ultimately put the kabosh on the practice. Besides, the service already has a system in place to get content that users are more likely to watch and engage with, thanks to knowing what other content those users have watched and engaged with. For some people, user reviews might have been a nice bonus when on the fence about a particular flick or TV project. However, they aren't strictly necessary, and they are no longer available these days. Jury's out regarding whether or not they were really a nice perk for most users, anyway.

In a lot of spaces online, user reviews have helped out. At places like Rotten Tomatoes, it's always interesting to see how user preferences stack up next to the critics. While on fashion websites, user reviews can help other buyers to learn more about an item's look and durability, as well as how that item might fit different body types. Apparently Netflix is more confident in its algorithm than its user reviews, and will be relying on recommendations based on preferences moving forward. To take a review-free look at what is coming to the service, check out our full Netflix schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.