YouTube Comes To A 5-Star Realization: Its Ratings Are Useless


The graph above is hilarious. It represents the way in which people rate videos on YouTube. As you can see, there are some 1-stars and a huge amount of 5-stars, and then basically no 2, 3, or 4 stars. As such, YouTube has a blog post today admitting that maybe its star system isn’t the best way to vote on videos.

Of course, anyone who has used YouTube for an extended period of time will already know this. And really, the same seems to be true of basically all 1 to 5 star crowd rating systems. It’s easy to know if a video (or anything) is good or bad, but how on Earth do you determine if it’s 2 star, 3 star, or 4 star-worthy? Everyone likely has their own opinions about what would constitute those ratings, and naturally, they’re all completely subjective.

Apple’s App Store faces a similar problem. And it also shares another issue that YouTube faces, most people are probably only going to vote if they absolutely love or hate an app (or a video). Hence, the 1 and 5 star usage.

YouTube asks in its post, “Would a thumbs up/thumbs down be more effective, or does favoriting do the trick of declaring your love for a video?” Yes, the two vote option (thumbs up/thumbs down) or the one vote option (favoriting) are both better methods because they’re more defined.