Armchair critics, take note: Netflix is removing its online review section

6 Jul 2018

Netflix logo on mobile phone. Image: Eyesonmilan/Shutterstock

Netflix fans who enjoy sharing views about film and TV on the platform only have a few weeks left to do so.

Writing Netflix reviews is soon to become a relic of the past as the company is removing its desktop-only feature that allows viewers to read and write reviews of the content on its platform.

According to CNet, the removal is coming in phases. First, written reviews will no longer be allowed on its website by 30 July; by mid-August, existing reviews will no longer be accessible for existing users to peruse.

Some Netflix users are unhappy

Netflix said it had notified subscribers who used the feature recently. The streaming service once allowed users to rate programmes on a star basis (from one to five) but altered this last year to a thumbs up/down option. The company still uses the star rating data but said it has seen an uptick in users voicing their opinions since changing to the simplified ratings system.

The written review system let users contextualise why they gave a particular rating to a show or film and only ever appeared on the website, not any of its numerous apps. Smita Saran, a spokesperson for Netflix, said that the feature “has seen declining usage over time”.

The thumb-review system is to remain unchanged, as it is totally independent from the written reviews uploaded to Netflix.

Some users voiced their disappointment on Twitter, mentioning how the removal of star ratings may have led to a decline in reviews, as well as expressing annoyance at their carefully curated reviews being earmarked for removal in the next few weeks.

If users would still like to read reviews for the next few weeks, you need to click on your chosen content, select ‘Details’ and find the ‘Members Reviews’ option on the right of the pane. From there, you click on ‘See All Reviews’ and then a ‘Write A Review’ button should pop up.

Price plan changes

Netflix is also said to be making a change to its price plans, according to some users in Italy and Germany.

A new ‘Ultra’ plan is being tested at present, which offers Ultra HD video and audio on four screens simultaneously. A spokesperson confirmed the plans are still in the testing phase.

Netflix logo on mobile phone. Image: Eyesonmilan/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects