Netflix is phasing out an old feature that allowed users to post written reviews of its content on the desktop version of its service. You won’t be able to write new reviews by July 30th, and the service’s existing reviews will disappear entirely by mid-August.
The reason for the change is pretty simple — no one was using the feature. In a statement provided to Cnet, a Netflix spokesperson said that the feature “has seen declining usage over time”.
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Part of that has to do with it being a desktop-only feature. Although the service was originally exclusive to the desktop when it launched in 2007, it has since become available on a wide variety of devices including smart TVs, mobiles, tablets, and games consoles.
With so much content consumption now happening away from the desktop, it’s little wonder less people are leaving reviews.
Netflix used to encourage you to leave ratings out of five stars for each of the pieces of content that you watched, but it recently abandoned this in favour of a more simple ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ rating because it found users weren’t putting in the effort to give nuanced scores.
The reviews are already extremely easy to miss in the first place.
When we tried to read some user reviews as research for this piece, we had to resort to using a help page to find out where they are in Netflix’s modern UI. You can still get to them by clicking on a show’s ‘Details’ tab, but we suspect most people will have skimmed straight passed them for years.
So the removal of full written reviews was pretty much inevitable sooner or later, but there’ll almost certainly be one or two users for whom this is a big loss. No one likes to see user-generated content removed from the internet, even if barely anyone was contributing.
Did you ever read Netflix’s user reviews? Let us know @TrustedReviews.