You know your critical analysis of Stranger Things you wrote at work during your lunch breaks while everyone else was on vacation? The one you submitted on Netflix’s desktop site? Yeah, well it’s getting deleted pretty soon. Netflix says declining usage has led it to retire the written review feature. You’ve got until July 30 to leave a review, though all of your astute observations and critiques will be disappearing around the middle of August. Hope you like thumbs instead.
A Netflix spokesperson says the longtime, desktop-only feature is indeed disappearing. You don’t need to worry about it affecting your recommendations, however. Netflix’s thumbs-based system, used for personalized ratings, is not being affected by the feature retirement. Here’s the notice Netflix sent out to some of its users:
You contributed a review on Netflix within the last year. We wanted to let you know that this feature will be retired on July 30th due to declining usage. We appreciate you taking time to write a review. All of your reviews will be available at netflix.com/reviews through July 30th.
-The Netflix Team
This is a pretty predictable announcement on Netflix’s part, considering its removal of various features like the five-star rating option (available in the past on a variety of devices), as well as the increasing presence of its own recommendations based on your ratings and watch history. The written reviews themselves are difficult to find on the desktop site, and nonexistent in Netflix’s other apps on devices like smartphones. Netflix has been whittling away the ability to offer more than a two-bit opinion on its catalog of films and shows, which, you could argue, makes it a harder for users to let others know how interesting or boring Netflix’s ever-growing stable of original content might be.
There’s another reason a company like Netflix wouldn’t want comments on its site: avoiding the responsibility of policing reviews of shows and films. I can’t blame it for the decision. I mean, who reads reviews, especially user reviews, on Netflix?