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Flixster

Flixster

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Encyclopedia
Flixster is a social movie site allowing users to share movie ratings, discover new movies, learn about movies, and meet others with similar taste in movies. The site allows users to view movie trailers as well as learn about the new and upcoming movies in the box office. The site is based in San Francisco, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and was founded by Joe Greenstein and Saran Chari in 2007. Flixster has been the parent of website Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

 since January 2010. Flixster including Rotten Tomatoes was acquired by Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 on May 4, 2011.

Site information


Between November 2006 and January 2007, the number of daily page views by Alexa Toolbar users rose from fewer than 20 million per day to around 50 million per day. Alexa no longer (June 2008) provides numbers of daily page views, but the number of page views as a percentage decreased by almost two thirds from mid-December 2007 to mid-June 2008.

Quantcast.com reports that the number of global daily page views for Flixster.com peaked at 8,331,961 on January 23, 2008 and dropped to 1,325,685 by July 5, 2008.

The quality of these daily page views seems to be dropping as well. In May 2008 the average number of page views per visit reported by Compete.com was 5.1, down from over 16 page views per visit in May 2007. Average user stay per visit was down to 3 minutes 19 seconds in May 2008 compared to over 8 minutes a year before.

Flixster's Facebook application, called "Movies", has consistently been one of the most popular apps on the site. Daily user totals peaked in December 2007.

Flixster Collections, a desktop application featuring a content discovery and management system, began open beta testing on July 29th, 2011.
Date Active Daily Users
December 4, 2007 >800,000
June 19, 2008 482,542
July 15, 2008 412,401


This was a common trend among Facebook applications, attributed to what has been described as "app fatigue". Facebook no longer displays daily active use, but instead monthly active use. As of September 2010, its popularity has waned significantly, and its 2.98 million monthly active users place the Movies app at the #9 most-used entertainment application on Facebook, but ranked at only #92 overall.

Common criticism


Flixster's growth has been described in the trade press as being due to "its aggressive viral marketing practices", including "the automated selection of your email account's entire address book in order to send a Flixster invitation to all of your contacts." Although Flixster claims this procedure is an industry standard used by other services, Flixster differs in that their system automatically selects all contacts in the user's address book and requires the user to manually un-select each address individually to prevent email from being sent in the user's name. Co-Founder Joe Greenstein has described the difference between Flixster and other sites as: "We make it easy to invite your friends. Other sites don't provide good ways for people to spread the word."

As a consequence of its rise in popularity due to its policy of emailing users' entire address books with advertisements for the site, the website has been discussed on numerous Internet blogs. At one time email from Flixster to Hotmail users was being filtered and deleted as spam.

Applications on other platforms


Flixster has developed applications for several social networking sites. These apps have many of the same features as the main Flixster site, such as ratings, reviews, and user-generated quizzes. Furthermore, each and every social networking site app or mobile app is completely free, allowing more users to download its application.
The first of these applications was released in June 2007 on the Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 platform. In March 2008 a MySpace
MySpace
Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors....

 app followed, which had 3,923,506 users as of July 2008. This made it the second most popular application on the MySpace platform. In addition to the Facebook and MySpace apps, Flixster has also developed applications for Bebo
Bebo
Bebo is a social networking website launched in July 2005. It is currently owned and operated by Criterion Capital Partners after taking over from AOL in June 2010....

 and Orkut
Orkut
Orkut is a social networking website that is owned and operated by Google Inc. The service is designed to help users meet new and old friends and maintain existing relationships...

.

In August 2008, Flixster released an iPhone
IPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

 application, which allows users to access movie showtimes, reviews, and trailers. Furthermore, this iPhone and iPod app for Flixster is the number one movie application yet. An iGoogle
IGoogle
iGoogle , a service of Google, is a customizable Ajax-based startpage or personal web portal . Google originally launched the service in May 2005...

 gadget with similar functionality was released in October 2008. Flixster has also released apps for Android mobile phones, Windows Phone
Windows Phone
Windows Phone is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft, and is the successor to its Windows Mobile platform, although incompatible with it. Unlike its predecessor, it is primarily aimed at the consumer market rather than the enterprise market...

, and BlackBerry phones.

In August 2010, Flixster hit 20 million combined mobile application downloads and has ranked as the top movie app on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry.