Netflix has a new ratings system, and it's all about simplicity.

Netflix has rolled out its new ratings system and recommendation engine, replacing the five star-based option for the simpler, more participation-friendly "thumbs-up, thumbs-down."

Netflix has had star ratings for much of our history, but we've learned through over a year of testing that while we've used stars to help you personalize your suggestions, many of our members are confused about what they do.

That's because we've all gotten used to star ratings on e-commerce and review apps, where rating contributes to an overall average, and the star rating shown next to a restaurant or a pair of shoes is an average of all the reviewers. On those apps, being a reviewer can be fun and helpful to others, but the primary goal isn't always to help you get better suggestions.

In contrast, when people see thumbs, they know that they are used to teach the system about their tastes with the goal of finding more great content. That's why when we tested replacing stars with thumbs we saw an astounding 200% increase in ratings activity.

That 200% increase in ratings activity, according to the company, should lead to more accurate recommendations, since an increasing number of Netflix's near-100 million user base is going to be participating in the program, improving the algorithm for everyone.

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