Netflix viewers get new 'double thumbs up' option to improve recommendations

The streaming platform introduced its binary option in 2017.
The streaming platform introduced its binary option in 2017. Photo credit: Newshub

Kiwis who spend their evenings endlessly scrolling Netflix looking for something to watch may soon find their recommendations have improved.

What you see on the Netflix menu is largely driven by an algorithm which uses viewing habits and ratings to push more content it thinks you may be interested in.

However, since 2017 that's been influenced by a binary option for ratings - a 'thumbs up' for like and 'thumbs down' for dislike.

That replaced a star-based system which allowed more granular ratings of favourites.

The streaming platform has now revealed it's adding an additional layer for viewers to highlight the content they really love to improve the prediction algorithm.

"That's why we're introducing double thumbs up, an additional way for members to let us know what types of series and films you want to see more of," the company wrote in a blog post.

"Our current thumbs up and thumbs down buttons are a good way for you to tell us how you feel about a series or film, and in return, you get a profile that's better personalised to your taste.

"However, we've learned over time that these feelings can go beyond a simple like or dislike.  Providing an additional way to tell us when you're really into something means a profile with recommendations that better reflect what you enjoy."

The company said the 'double thumbs up' will help to 'fine-tune' recommendations. For example, if a viewer loved Bridgerton, they will see more television shows and movies starring the cast or created by production company Shondaland.

The 'single thumbs up' will still work in the same way by indicating a film or show was liked, which can still play a part in recommending more content.

The new functionality is being rolled out on television, web, Android and iOS devices from April 12, the company said.