Removing all user feedback and opinions on their vast collection of television shows and movies, Netflix is officially deleting all of its user reviews. The review purge will go into effect this summer.
With roughly 125 million subscribers worldwide and hundreds of original programs, Netflix has grown to become more popular than traditional TV, like broadcast and cable, ever since it was founded in 1997 as a subscription-based streaming service for movies and television. Over the years, the company has made significant changes - from its announcement of incorporating streaming videos in 2007 to replacing its five-star rating system with the more simplified thumbs-up/thumbs-down approach - and its latest change involves more behind-the-scenes fat-trimming. Starting this summer, Netflix will no longer allow users to write their own reviews for any television shows or movies, and all existing reviews will be removed.
As reported by CNET, Netflix is kickstarting a full review purge on its website, rolling out the changes in the coming months. As of July 30, Netflix will no longer accept user reviews from subscribers, and by mid-August, they will have deleted any and all user reviews completely. Based on a five-star rating system, the reviews feature allows Netflix users to include a personalized review of any given show or movie that runs between 80 and 1,999 characters. However, after a significant drop in user reviews over the past few years, Netflix has ultimately decided to remove the feature altogether.
In the past, Netflix has come under fire for major changes, namely with pricing. Just last year, the streaming service raised its prices for US subscribers, including everything from their standard option ($9.99 to $10.99) to their Ultra HD options ($11.99 to $13.99). Their reasoning behind the change was that it would help them improve the overall experience for users.
Netflix has always been an adaptable company, which would explain how it's not only survived in such a competitive industry, but thrived. Compared to streaming services like Amazon's Prime Video and Hulu, Netflix has proven to reign supreme. In fact, when it comes to their original movies and shows alone, they're even competing with major production studios. In 2018 alone, they will spend more money than any major film studio - racking up an estimated $12-$13 billion. What's more is that they've already begun establishing a name as a serious film studio, raking in eight Academy Award nominations just this past year, with one win for the performance-enhancing drug documentary Icarus in the Best Documentary Feature category.