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Netflix’s New Rating System Is the Closest We’ll Get to Hooking Up With Movies

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Sex with movies — until now, it’s been an impossible dream. But Netflix is a company of innovation, and they’re not going to stop at reshaping the home-entertainment industry top to bottom. Much ruckus was raised recently when Netflix announced that they would do away with their widely reviled star ratings and switch to a thumbs-up/thumbs-down system for recommendations, but a new video from the streaming giant released today clarifies the nature of this new recommendations engine. At long last, we can decide which movies we want to do it with, as if the film industry was one big textual Tinder. And that’s not my comparison, either — Netflix wants you to think of this like a dating app!

The video diplomatically explains that the star system always kind of sucked eggs, seeing as the “ratings” were less user-generated appraisals of quality and more automated approximations of preference. It shall be replaced by Thumbs, a new program in which users assign each movie or TV show a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down after watching. From this information, the mysterious algorithm will be able to calculate recommendations with more precision, as numbered percentage match ratings will now be appended to all content as well. In theory, this would be make it much easier to sift through the vast oceans of mediocrity cluttering up Netflix to get to the good stuff, but it could box a user into a specific type and eliminate room for pleasant surprises just as easily.

“Finding love is hard,” the video states. “Finding your next binge doesn’t have to be,” it adds, as if bingeing a TV show is not itself a valid form of love. Hopefully, Netflix’s diamonds in the rough will get more attention under the Thumbs system, and the site will stop insisting I check out Egyptian Belly Dancing for Beginners. (I am an intermediate Egyptian belly dancer at least, thank you.)

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