Letterboxd is an online social networking service co-founded by Matthew Buchanan and Karl von Randow in 2011.[2] It was launched as a social app focused on sharing opinions about, and love of, film, and is maintained by a small team in Auckland, New Zealand. The site is meant for sharing its members' tastes in films. [3] Members can use it as a diary to record their opinions about films, keep track of films they have seen in the past, write reviews or make lists of films and showcase their favorite films, as well as meet and interact with other cinephiles. Films can be rated, reviewed, included in a list and tagged with relevant keywords.

Screenshot of the Letterboxd home page, as it appeared on November 11, 2018.
Type of site
Social networking service for films
Available inEnglish
Created byMatthew Buchanan
Karl von Randow
Alexa rank 2,385 (Global, March 2019)[1]
LaunchedOctober 2011 (2011-10)
Current statusActive

As of the first week of October 2018 members have marked over 200,000,000 films as watched, doubling the previous benchmark of 100,000,000 set on 15 May 2017.[4]



The site was launched at Brooklyn Beta in October 2011, and attracted more than 17,000 beta testers over the next six months.[5] It transitioned from private to public beta on 24 April 2012,[6][7] with all pages becoming publicly visible. Membership remained invitation-only until 8 February 2013, when it was opened for public use.[8] The site also introduced a tiered structure, with both free membership and paid memberships which allowed access to multiple features including personalized "Year in Review" pages.[9]

Technical aspects

Anyone can read content on the site. An account is required for users who want to participate. All members can rate films, review films and tag them with relevant keywords. They may also maintain lists of films they have watched or want to watch, and interact with other members. Lists can be made public or private to the user. A follower model enables members to follow along with the activity of others on the site.

There are two paid membership tiers.

Pro membership includes:

  • Personalized "Year in Review" stat pages
  • Personalized "All-Time" stats page
  • Activity feed filtering
  • Filtering by streaming service
  • Pinned reviews
  • Username modification
  • List cloning/duplication

Patron membership includes all Pro features as well as the following:

  • The Patron's profile page includes a backdrop of their favorite film (the first one listed, if available).
  • Priority access to test new features including beta versions and iPhone app by request.
  • Patron's name appears on the Patrons Page.

First-party apps

For Apple devices there is a universal iOS app for iPhone[10] and iPad[11][12] offering most of the website's functionality, and a cut-down tvOS app for Apple TV.[13] The iOS app supports several system-level integrations including Siri Shortcuts, URL schemes and Handoff, allowing control via voice commands and Shortcut workflows. There is also a full-featured app for Android[14] users available in Google Play Store.

Film data

All film-related metadata used on the website, including actor, director and studio names, synopses, release dates, trailers and poster art is supplied by The Movie Database (TMDb). Because of the high annual fees for using IMDb's data, the developers decided to opt for TMDb instead, which is openly crowdsourced.[15] They partnered with Justwatch.com to include online viewing options for films in September 2019.[16][17]


  1. "Letterboxd.com Traffic, Demographics and Competitors". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. "Letterboxd". crunchbase.com. Retrieved 29 June 2016
  3. "Frequent questions". letterboxd.com.
  4. "Letterboxd News". Letterboxd News. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  5. "Letterboxd News". news.letterboxd.com.
  6. "Letterboxd: Social website for film fans launches - latimes.com". 28 April 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  7. "What on earth is Letterboxd?". Den of Geek. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  8. "Letterboxd, the social network for movie buffs, goes freemium and finally opens to everyone". The Next Web. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  9. "Pro". Letterboxd News.
  10. "Letterboxd launches its movie social network on the iPhone". TechCrunch. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  11. "Letterboxd News". Letterboxd News. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  12. "Letterboxd 2.0 Brings iPad Version, Support for iOS Automation Apps". Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  13. "Letterboxd News". Letterboxd News. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  14. "Letterboxd News". Letterboxd News. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  15. Buchanan], Matthew (9 February 2013). "Matthew's answer to 'What's the story behind Letterboxd?'". Co-founder at Letterboxd (2010-present). Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  16. Stuart, Gwynedd (8 November 2019). "How Letterboxd Is Trying to Get an Edge Over Other Movie Apps". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  17. "At Your Service". Letterboxd News. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
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