Writing a review about your favorite or least-favorite film or TV show on Netflix is about to become a lot harder. The streaming giant announcing that it is removing the option to post and read online user reviews.
On July 30th, Netflix subscribers will no longer have the option of expressing their opinions on a film or TV series they watched on Netflix via the form of an online written review, according to CNET. In an email sent to users who have recently left reviews, the company revealed that the written review system will cease to exist in the coming months as a result of declining usage.
"We have notified members who have used the feature recently," Netflix spokesperson Smita Saran stated in the email. "This feature is only offered on the website and has seen declining usage over time."
Those who still use the review system will see the feature gradually disappear. By July 30th, the option to write reviews will be removed, and by mid-August, desktop users will no longer be able to read written reviews.
The banishment of written reviews will not, however, affect the thumbs-up-thumbs-down rating system that the streaming giant put into place early last year. That system replaced the older system of rating TV shows, movies, and Netflix originals on a five-star basis, and while initially met with criticism from subscribers, it has resulted in more ratings and better recommendations based on a subscriber's streaming habits.
The thumbs-up-thumbs-down system had been part of an A/B test, and was eventually rolled out to all users on its site, mobile apps, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and smart TVs after the number of ratings jumped 200 percent compared to the original rating system.
Netflix's latest A/B test involves a more expensive subscription plan called the "Ultra" plan. The newest plan, which is reportedly being tested in Italy and Germany and could soon make its way to the United States, offers 4K Ultra High Definition resolution and supports HDR settings. However, if the suspected price of $16.99 should it make it to the States, it is almost double $10.99 standard plan.
The "Ultra" plan is already proving to be controversial, as it is believed that should it become an option made available to all subscribers, it will affect the already set-in place basic, standard, and premium plans likely decreasing the number of movies or shows users can stream from their accounts at a time.