Netflix continues to overhaul the system it uses to rate movies and TV shows on its streaming service.
Earlier this year, the company abandoned its five-star ratings system in favor of a simpler thumbs-up or thumbs-down option. Now it is removing a feature that has been around just about since the beginning: user reviews.
Starting Aug. 1, users of the popular streaming service will no longer be able to write their own reviews for the movies and TV shows it streams. All previous reviews will be removed as well.
The reviews allowed users to expand on why they have a program X number of stars, but they were only accessible on the desktop version of Netflix, not on mobile devices or connected TV devices, meaning that only a relatively small percentage of the Netflix user base could see them.
In a statement to CNet, a Netflix spokesperson said that usage of the written reviews had declined over time, and that they were not used as part of the company’s recommendation engine to begin with.
Still, the removal of written reviews is yet another step toward an algorithmic future, where computers and machine learning tell us what we should be watching.