A few weeks back, Netflix announced that they were adding a two thumbs up option to give feedback on their content. At the same time I was being asked on Twitter why we had given up on 5 star ratings at Netflix back in the day. Given that I have personally spent a lot of time in my career looking into ratings and user feedback, I thought I’d share some of what I have learned not only during my time at Netflix, but also before and after.
I became fascinated with user ratings like many other folks in the context of the famous $1M Netflix Prize. That dataset had a lot of interesting data, and also very unexpected findings. Lots was written about it at that time. For example, I wrote a pretty popular post around that time explaining why the assumption that ratings are in an ordinal scale might be wrong.. Many of us continued looking into the topic for years to come and even made a career of it. If you are interested in some of the many lessons I learned from that contest I wrote about it in an earlier post.
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