When you look for something to watch on Netflix, do you use other users’ reviews to help make your choice? Well, it looks like you won’t be able to in the future, as Netflix is set to begin to eliminate them at the end of this month.
According to CNET, fans of the streaming service will not be able to post any new reviews starting on July 30, with plans to delete its vast library by the middle of August. The stated reason for this move is that people have been posting far fewer over the years, so simply eliminating the whole thing will help trim the fat on the website.
In the current model, viewers can post between 80 and 1,999 characters describing the film or TV series that they watched, as well as score it on a five-star rating system. It used to be possible to do the latter even if one did not submit a written review, but that was eliminated within the last year in exchange for a simpler “thumbs up, thumbs down” option.
Of course, Netflix is always making such changes, and users are always complaining about them. Assuming this move goes through, people will simply accept it over time, but this will still be annoying to anyone who likes to either share their own thoughts of use the assessments of others to decide their viewing choices.
That said, some have attributed Netflix’s success, even over other streaming services like Hulu, to their great adaptability. After all, when it started in 1997, its whole purpose was only to mail DVDs to people; it was not until 2007 that one could just stream so many movies right onto your computer, a function which has gone on to revolutionize the industry.
And the service is doing very well; according to one recent poll, it is outperforming TV by a wide margin, which certainly fits anecdotal data. With its huge selection, including $12-13 billion worth of original programming, it is also considered one of the biggest “studios” out there, to the point when even Disney has come to see it as a significant rival. (Hence their own upcoming streaming service.)
So if there’s a movie that you love, or for that matter hate, better go pour your feelings out on Netflix while you still can. Barring a change of plans, you’ll lose your chance within a few weeks.