Letterboxd Top Tips: Getting the Most out of the Social Network for Film Fans

If you're not sure what Letterboxd is then that's probably understandable; despite fairly widely available invites being pushed out on a regular basis, the site is still officially in invite-only beta, meaning you'll need someone you know on the inside to grant you access. If you're in though, then you might still be wondering who you are and what you're doing there. One of the main criticisms of Letterboxd is that it can be difficult to 'get', at least initially - you're in, but what exactly are you meant to be doing? Here then, are the top five tips for a good Letterboxd user experience. Oh, and if you need an invite, say hello on Twitter, I might just have some left.

1 - Follow me, follow you

Like Twitter, Letterboxd operates by following people and having them follow you. It's another social media experience, with the key word being 'social'. If you aren't following anyone then you're not getting the real benefit of the site. Once you're in try the 'people' tab for suggestions, or look at who people you know are following and give them a try yourself. The emphasis from a posting point of view is definitely quality over quantity so try following at least fifty people to make sure you get an active feed.

2 - The 'Activity' tab is your friend

The activity tab is the hub of Letterboxd - like your 'home' stream on Twitter. This is where you receive updates from all the people you've decided to follow since you joined. There's no auto-refresh at the moment, so you'll have to click on the tab or hit F5 every time you want to check for new updates. This is where you should be spending most of your time.

3 - Integration, integration, integration

In the 'settings' menu, you'll find the option to integrate your account to Twitter - this is highly recommended. After doing this, on several screens throughout the site you'll then see a 'would you like us to find your Twitter friends on Letterboxd?' option. Click this. In fact, click it about once a week. New people join Letterboxd every day through invitations. Clicking this option on a regular basis means you can keep adding your Twitter friends who weren't there the last time you integrated your accounts.

4 - Get posting

On Twitter you post tweets, on Letterboxd you post movies. Watched a film? Search for it, log that you watched it, the date you watched it on and whether you liked it, perhaps even give it a rating. If you feel up to it post a short review. Have a site? Include a link to the longer review. Like Twitter, the interaction on Letterboxd comes from conversations starting around the movie watching experience.

5 - Get liking

Although the site has clearly drawn a lot of inspiration from Twitter there's no 'retweet' or 'repost' option. Instead, Letterboxd has gone down the Facebook-esque 'like' route, as well as having comments available. Seen a rating you disagree with? Click the movie title from your 'activity' feed and leave a comment - you're leaving a comment on that individual 'watch' or rating, rather than the film's page itself. Found a review funny? Hit the 'like' button and the same thing applies - you are interacting with the original poster and their experience of the film, not with the film itself - for that you'll need to post your own review. As with the first tip, the key to any social network is the 'social' bit. If you're not being social then you're not getting the most out of Letterboxd.

You can find Film Intel on Letterboxd here.

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