What is letterboxing? Meet the social media platform for film fans

Finding honest movie reviews and reliable recommendations on what to watch next can be a challenge. From the various movie rating sites, Letterboxd has become a popular social network for many movie lovers to discover and share their favorite movies. The app offers more engagement options than IMDb and more spontaneous reviews than Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s everything you need to know about Letterboxd and why it’s become so popular.

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Letterboxd is a free social media platform for movie fans. Notable features include the ability for users to keep track of movies they’ve seen, write and share reviews, and compile a watchlist of movies they want to watch.


What is letterboxd and who is it for?

Letterboxd was first launched in 2011 to fill a gap in the vast array of apps; Where was the social media page for movies? Founders Matthew Buchanan and Karl von Randow described how they previously used Flickr to share photos and Last.fm to share their tastes in music, but there was nothing quite like it for movies. While IMDb has an extensive database, it is not socially oriented. That’s why they created the social media network Letterboxd, which they call “movie goodreads”.

In its infancy, letterboxd was largely a niche for passionate cinephiles who wanted to track their filming habits, create lists of favorites, and write and publish reviews. But in recent years, the app has gone mainstream, doubling its growth during the pandemic. Lots of people flocked to the site to see something while self-isolating at home, and the increase in usage is a testament to Letterboxd’s ability to recommend something great.

A look at the ratings on Letterboxd

On Letterboxd you can discover new movies to watch and new critics to follow, and professional critics’ opinions are not put into a separate category.

Letterboxed Top Gun Reviews

Adam Birney/Android Authority

A first look at the review section for each movie on Letterboxd gives you a taste of the app’s spontaneous openness. The top-notch reviewers don’t worry about the professional formatting of typical film critics; They range from jokes and references to aspects of the industry to brief personal jokes. You can also access Letterboxd on mobile and desktop if you want to use a keyboard for longer reviews.

How does letterboxing work?

In order to use Letterboxd, you need to sign up for a free account. Once you’ve registered, you can search for movies you’ve seen or are interested in. Or you can browse popular movies from movies Tab. On the corresponding page you will find a lot of information about a film. In the center is a synopsis of the film, along with a list of cast and crew members, details such as studios involved and languages ​​available, and what genres the film fits into.

On the left is the official poster of the film and below that are stats on how many users have seen the film, how many lists it appears in, how many people liked the film and where it ranks at the top of Letterbox’s 250 list Film when it made the cut. Below is a list of available platforms to watch the film in your area, similar to JustWatch’s coveted feature.

Example of a letterboxd film page

Adam Birney/Android Authority

Let’s look at the options in the box on the right. The eye icon indicates whether or not you’ve seen or reviewed the film (although in this case it’s the iconic googly eye from the film). Everything everywhere at once, an example of some of the fun Easter eggs waiting to be discovered on the site). You can click the heart icon to like a movie or click the clock icon to add it to a watchlist.

If you want, you can rate and write a film review here. You’ll also find a chart showing the percentage of people who gave the film an average rating of between one and five stars. Below you can see if your friends have reviewed the film to read what they think.

what else can you do

The little lightning bolt icon next to the Movies tab shows you recent activity from friends and those you follow. That lists Tab on the other hand shows you top trending lists and gives you the option to create your own. From Halloween horrors to cheesy rom-coms, it’s fun to organize movies into different categories or quickly find something to whet your appetite.

letterboxed lists

Adam Birney/Android Authority

That members The tab is where you’ll find the hottest reviewers if you’re looking for avid moviegoers to follow. Last the diary On the tab you can read industry news, interviews, film analysis and listen to the letterboxd podcast. The green log button on the far left gives you quick access to write a review, create a new list, or find your friends.

Why is Letterboxed so popular?

Most movie reviews only run on aggregate reviews and ratings, but what makes Letterboxd stand out is the combination of a movie database and movie diary that uses a social network-style follower model. Users can write whatever they want about a movie and others can upvote their reviews. Letterboxd’s raw spirit can be both hilarious and liberating. It gives readers an immediate feel for the film without having to beat around the bush.

Another big part of why Letterboxd has become so popular is because of the intuitive user experience. Popular reviews are short and bite-sized, making them easy to flip through and share better. Many reviews have gone viral because the text can easily fit the length of a tweet or Instagram story. You can link your Letterboxd account with your other social media accounts to post everywhere at once.

The rest of the information is clear and accessible; The glowing star rating is hidden under the title, and the poster is formatted perfectly on the right. Co-founder Matthew Buchanan explained. “One-sheet design is one of the many aspects of filmmaking that we love, and having one version of it as a navigational approach has become part of the structure of Letterboxd and in turn encourages a lot of social sharing. ”

As more Letterboxed reviews go viral, more people are becoming aware of and interested in the platform. Today, Letterboxd has around five million monthly visitors and is still growing. The free form of reviews and lists allows almost as much creativity as the artistic films waiting to be discovered. On Letterboxd, the saying “everyone’s a critic” isn’t a bad thing — it’s its greatest strength.

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frequently asked Questions

You cannot watch movies directly from Letterboxd. However, you can find a full list of where a movie can be streamed or rented in your area.

Letterboxd isn’t just for movies. You can also find reviews for series, short films and documentaries.

Yes, Letterboxd recommends movies based on your watch history and other movies you’ve enjoyed. It also shows you recent movie reviews from accounts you follow.

Yes there is! In fact, Letterboxd was inspired by just such a site, Goodreads, the world’s largest reader and book recommendation site.

https://www.androidauthority.com/what-is-letterboxd-3216354/ What is letterboxing? Meet the social media platform for film fans

Chris Barrese

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