Just as Netflix’s star ratings went the way of the dodo, so too will its user reviews. Currently, users can submit and read reviews for TV shows and movies when browsing the service on desktop, but that feature isn’t long for this world. Netflix has announced that it will begin phasing out user reviews later this month, first removing the ability to publish them and later removing them from sight altogether.
Netflix confirmed the move in a statement to CNET. By the end of the month (July 30 specifically), users will no longer be able to write reviews. Then, sometime in mid-August, reviews will disappear entirely from Netflix’s desktop site.
The company told CNET that it has reached out to users who have used the review feature recently to notify them of this impending shut down. It also said that it’s decided to remove user reviews because it’s seen declining usage in recent years. Of course, it could also want to remove user reviews because it doesn’t want to give people a platform to speak negatively about it’s increasingly large portfolio of original content, but that’s just my own speculation.
That user reviews aren’t very popular among Netflix’s userbase isn’t very surprising. Users can only write and view reviews on the desktop site, and these days, Netflix subscribers have a lot of non-desktop options when it comes to accessing the service. As more and more use smart TVs or mobile apps to watch Netflix, it makes sense that fewer people would be posting user reviews.
This news comes on the heels of reports that Netflix may soon introduce an “Ultra” subscription tier, which potentially charges extra for HDR capabilities and more simultaneous streams. Big changes are in store for the beloved streaming service, but they’re ones that could alienate some longtime users. What do you think of the news that Netflix is dropping user reviews? Head down to the comments section and let us know!