Netflix is removing online reviews on July 30

The online reviews feature is only offered on the website and has seen declining usage over time, according to a spokesperson.


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Soon, it’ll be a little harder for you to tell everyone what you thought of Marvel’s The Avengers.

Netflix is removing a desktop-only feature this summer that allowed users to read and write reviews of TV shows and movies on its website. But the shutdown is coming in stages. People will no longer be able to write their feedback on a show, similar to a Yelp review of a restaurant, by July 30. And in mid-August, people will no longer be able to read existing user reviews on Netflix either.

“We have notified members who have used the feature recently,” Netflix spokesperson Smita Saran said in an email Thursday.

This isn’t the first time the company has changed a feature used to provide feedback on its offerings.

The streaming service used to allow people to rate programs with one to five stars. But, early last year, the company changed it to a simple thumbs up or thumbs down. People criticized the move because Netflix provides a percent “match” based on what it determines you’ll like or dislike from your thumbs up or down, negating the work users already put into rating content with stars. Forbes contributor Paul Tassi said the new system was “the epitome of uselessness.” Netflix, meanwhile, has said it has received more ratings as a result.

Netflix’s written reviews allowed users to explain why they doled out five stars, for instance, to Parks and Recreation. But they only ever appeared on Netflix’s website, not its many apps, and a Netflix spokeswoman said the written reviews didn’t influence the system Netflix used to recommend shows to you.

“This feature is only offered on the website and has seen declining usage over time,” Saran said.

The current thumbs up or thumbs down system, which is completely independent from the written reviews, will remain after the changes.

This news comes at a time when Netflix is at its peak. This spring, the streaming service took the crown as the most valuable media company in the world and hit 125 million subscribers worldwide. 

First published July 5 at 2:17 p.m. PT.
Update at 3:28 p.m. PT: Clarifies the reviews feature is shutting down in stages.

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