F-ing social media: Flixster, Facebook, and Film


There is a social media site for nearly every interest and inclination. Scrolling through Wikipedia’s list I saw sites dedicated to books, photos, writing, traveling, cartoons, and countless other topics. One of my particular interests is film so I choose Flixster.

Flixster is a social media site dedicated to learning about movies, sharing reviews, watching trailers, and discussing film with others who have similar taste. Flixster was founded in 2007 and became the parent company of Rotten Tomatoes, a site devoted to film reviews and industry news. Warner Brother’s Studios acquired both sites in 2011. Along with rating and discussing movies a user can purchase movie tickets through the app. Recently, users have been able to build a digital movie collection through the site/app and watch films using an Ultra Violet platform. In 2014, Flixster launched the Flixster Video app, which is solely dedicated to streaming movies.

Originally, Flixster was a site dedicated to discussing and rating films. However, in the past few years the site/app has become highly commercialized. (Purchasing tickets, charging to watch digital films) Perhaps this is related to its acquisition by Warner Brothers?

Flixster is a stand-alone website/app, but they have created plugins and add-ons for Facebook, MySpace, Google +, and many other social media sites and digital platforms. In 2012 users could no longer create a stand alone account on the site, you have to use Facebook to login. All of your ratings and actions on Flixster can be automatically posted to your Facebook page allowing you to create a discussion with your friends who are not on the site.

All of the Flixster’s apps and plugins are free to download, however unless you have an Ultra Violet account or another streaming service to link with Flixster, you need to pay to stream movies. The rating system, discussion boards, and user generated quizzes are still free.

Flixster is a social media highbred of sorts, it combines user input with industry control. It allows users to discuss film, curate their own public movies lists with various categories (want to see, own on DVD, rated moves, want to own). But the site/app also provides a paid service to view the films its users are discussing. I think this is the next stage of Web 2.0, the commercialization of social media and the integration of multiple apps/sites. On its on Flixster would not be able to compete with Facebook, but by integrating itself within the dominant social media site they have secured their position as the most popular movie app.


One thought on “F-ing social media: Flixster, Facebook, and Film

  1. I feel like you find this more and more: social media sites that team up with each other to reach more users. Or the dominance of one helps the other one become more popular. I just find it interesting that it appears that Flixster saw the need to become more social as the technology advanced. But what does that mean for those people who want to use the service without being so social? It’s almost like Flixster’s approach is pigeon-holing its users into being as social as it is. But apparently it isn’t that problematic for them…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s