Facebook might buzz along and Twitter might sizzle with the words of celebrities, but social media has really hit its pinnacle – at least for cineastes – with the wonderful Letterboxd.
Letterboxd has created a vibrant community of film fans (myself included) whilst in its beta phase and it has now rolled out to the general public, with Pro and Patron modes as well as the standard Free account.
But why all the fuss? What’s so good about Letterboxd?
The internet has been crying out for a good film-related social network for years. As the concept of social media continued to explode, a few sites (like the simple, but solid iCheckMovies) sprung up, trying to bring the social experience to the often solitary experience of film geekery. Fortunately, 2012 was the year that Letterboxd would appear, bringing the entire social world to the expansive universe of cinema.
Since I first got access to the Letterboxd beta in June last year, it has become a permanent part of my film experience. Almost as soon as I finish watching a film, my first port of call is Letterboxd, where I immediately mark the film as watched, rate it and add a review on my page. Letterboxd has come out of absolutely nowhere to be the cyberspace equivalent of discussing the film with friends afterwards, with the beauty being that everyone on the site is a huge fan of the medium with masses of knowledge.
It is the community that makes Letterboxd a truly special site. People that have been using the beta for a long time have helped form a close, but inclusive community of some of the nicest people on the internet. Letterboxd really should beef up its community aspects because it is without a doubt the members that are the central strength of the site.
As well as the excellent community feel, Letterboxd benefits from the fact it offers a massive wealth of features for free. Unlike other, inferior film-based social networks, Letterboxd provides access to pretty much everything a film fan could possibly want without the need to upgrade to Pro membership. That said, Pro members do get a number of extra little bits with the promise of more to come for the tiny contribution of £12 for a year of Pro status.
Continuing to grow as it spreads out to the general public, Letterboxd is simply one of the best websites on the internet and it deserves to be the social network residence of the cineaste.
And their error messages are from 2001: A Space Odyssey. That’s pretty cool.
Are you a Letterboxd user? Considering a Pro upgrade? Will you be a new user now the site is generally open to the public? Let me know in the comments section.