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Why is everyone raving about Letterboxd?

An 'old-fashioned' social media taking Hollywood by storm

Why is everyone raving about Letterboxd? An 'old-fashioned' social media taking Hollywood by storm

When a film full of plot twists and a platform for reviewing it come together, a media phenomenon is born, just like when a rising comedy actress decides to share her comments online. The space we are talking about is Letterboxd, the social media platform where cinephiles, directors, and Hollywood stars gather to discuss the latest film releases, create inspirational playlists, and collect likes. Similar to the days of MySpace when Lana Del Rey fans - then Lizzy Grant - Kesha, Katy Perry, and Tom Hardy fans could interact directly with their idols, Letterboxd echoes a sense of camaraderie from the old internet. Allowing users to read others' reviews of newly released films, it has sparked an unstoppable proliferation of memes and jokes, even from well-known personalities. In a fantastic plot twist, the years when the end of cinemas was predicted revitalized the experience of going to see a movie as a shared activity, paradoxically leveraging the same internet connection that had compromised them. Once again, it's time to thank the memes.

In recent weeks, traditional social media has been flooded with reviews of Saltburn from Letterboxd users, an endless collection of sarcastic comments defining the film's box office success ($21.3 million) and social media presence - the film has garnered over a million reviews at the moment. One comment, in particular, struck a chord with users: «my man’s is doing all of this but can’t eat runny eggs?». The author is the emerging cinema star Ayo Edibiri, a writer, voice actor, comedian, and actress who has worked on globally renowned projects like Big Mouth, The Bear, Bottoms, and Abbott Elementary School. Since being discovered, her Letterboxd profile has quickly become a hit, even haunting her at award shows in recent weeks. When asked about meeting the actors she teased on the social platform at the Emmys, Edibiri promptly replied, «I’m a comedian. Anything I say online, I think I would say to somebody’s face. I have a Letterboxd because I love movies, I love TV, I love this industry. I know how hard it is to make something.»

@letterboxd Four Favorites with Golden Globe winner Emma Stone at Palm Springs International Film Festival #emmastone #fourfavorites #letterboxdtop4 #letterboxd #interview #poorthings #goldenglobes #cinephile #filmtok #movies #fyp #foryou original sound - Letterboxd

Launched in 2011 by New Zealand web developers Matthew Buchanan and Karl von Randow, Letterboxd started as an independent startup, described as a «Goodreads for movies.» The project drew inspiration from the most popular platforms of the time, namely Flickr,, and IMDb. Having cultivated a niche of passionate users over the years, with the onset of Covid-19 and the imposition of the first lockdown rules in 2020, the site experienced an unprecedented growth, becoming a new space for connection for people spending their days between a screen and a DIY project. From the start of the pandemic to 2023, the number of registered accounts on Letterboxd has gone from 1.8 to 10 million, an increase that prompted the Canadian company Tiny to invest a majority stake in the platform, accelerating its growth. «Teaming up with Tiny represents a big leap forward for us,» said Letterboxd co-founders Buchanan von Randow. «Tiny’s impressive track record, which includes spurring the growth of the thriving design community, Dribbble, speaks to their ability to cultivate and grow businesses like ours without altering the fundamental components that have made them successful. We see this as a huge win for our community, enabling us to cement Letterboxd’s future with additional resources without sacrificing the DNA of what makes it special.»

Upon the reopening of cinemas post-pandemic, Letterboxd's success continued unabated thanks to the media traction promoted by films like Barbie, Oppenheimer, or Everything Everywhere All At Once, as well as specific features that allow app users to share diverse content. From the freedom to write whatever you want in reviews to creating public watchlists, users can entertain others with the simple addition of a brilliant title. Notable among the most followed collections are "I’m just a girl in the world" and "feeling lost in your 20s," suggesting romcoms and classics starting from Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 version, of course), as well as "For when you want to feel something," ordering posters in a perfect chromatic scale. With the ability to search for other profiles, the favorite activity of Letterboxd users has emerged: reading reviews from industry professionals. After all, who wouldn't want to browse through Martin Scorsese's list of favorite films and find out what he thinks of the Saltburn screenplay? The social media platform seems to have also caught the attention of director Sofia Coppola, who, after discovering its existence in an interview with the New York Times, asked if there could be a romantic aspect to checking out the favorite films of a guy you like. An idea that someone has surely already put into practice, and that wouldn't be so strange to encounter in one of the upcoming projects of the director of Priscilla and Lost in Translation.

@francescascorsese In case you can’t tell, we really love 2001: A Space Odyssey @Letterboxd #fyp #martinscorsese #movieranking Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) - ABBA

Providing complete freedom of expression to its users, something increasingly lacking in traditional social media, Letterboxd nurtures the interests of the Gen Z demographic, which currently constitutes 75% of active accounts on the app. Through memes and humorous reviews, Letterboxd becomes not only a place of distraction but also a welcoming space for anyone, from the most enthusiastic film bros to the Sofia Coppolas who have just discovered its existence. Once again, the ironic and light-hearted approach of an independent social media platform rewards the courage of its founders, as happened with BeReal, proving that influencers and sponsored content are not always necessary to launch a successful online platform.