In a country obsessed with movies as a major source of entertainment, most of us end up discussing our favourite movies with each other. And with such discussions having shifted online, quite a few startups are delving into the dedicated movie discussion network space, where one can not only find new movies as per their taste but also keep a track of what is trending among their friends. Here’s a social movie review network called Dapple that is trying to help you discover movies via your friends and personal taste. Dapple users can also find critic reviews along with reviews or ratings by their friends.
When I read about Dapple at NBW, another beta product in the social movie reviews space, I was curious to know what it offered different from the many such tools available in the space. Could a movie enthusiast be glued on to it? Let’s move on to Dapple to find out.
Getting started with Dapple
A home page featuring popular movie posters asks you to explore or sign in to the site. Dapple provides a Facebook login for the moment. In case you are not on Facebook, you can quickly create an account on it, as most applications prefer to have Facebook logins only. But, Dapple creators need to make a note that there might be some users who do not want to create a Facebook login or do not want to login through their Facebook account for some reason, and Dapple risks losing them!
Once you login through Facebook, all the movies you have liked on Facebook are pulled up here. Also, you are asked to enter a minimum of five of your favourite movies to help build your profile. Here, I was pushed into entering two not-so-favourite movies as they weren’t found through the search results. The database is currently licensing movie content from a UK based digital data provider called Rovi, which has more than 250,000 titles from across the world. Hopefully, going further it will have more movies added on.
Your friends on Facebook who are also on Dapple will be added to your network. One can also invite their friends through importing email contacts from Gmail.
Discovering new movies
Dabble then throws up an array of movies liked by your friends on Facebook. Under ‘recommended’, its recommendation engine displays new movies based on the type of movies you entered as your favourites.
When you hover over a movie card, you can rate it from the five icons or add it to your watchlist. You can also add your review and then share it on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
The movie page for “Life of Pie’, Director Ang Lee’s adaptation of the adventure novel by the same name, features the details of the movie along with the cast and trailer. Above you can see an average rating based on the number of votes it has received and also the IMDb rating. Ratings by other users can be seen too, however I couldn’t find any critics reviews. There are links to buy the movie from e-retail sites like Flipkart and Amazon and also itunes.
Movie discovery can happen in many ways. Under ‘In theatres’ I found ‘The Book Thief’ interesting, however due to not enough votes, it did not have a rating. It does feature links to buy the movie tickets from. I followed some of the users who had rated similarly for some of my favourite movies, though it would be preferable that Dapple recommends these users to me.
The search tool helps you search by movie name or by movie genre.
Another movie review platform?
Of late, I’ve been trying to discover interesting networks for movies, so I can discover interesting movies. But, discovery aided by social is not an easy task. Liking movies just because your friends and family on Facebook like it, does not make sense. Dapple could be more effective if it recommends users based on similar movie preferences just as it recommends movies. That way Dabble users can discover more of their types of movies.
The design is the popular card layout one and provides for a smooth experience for a user. Also, it could add a lot more features for it to be called a full fledged movie review site like critic reviews, lists, collections, etc. And definitely the social layer to grow its user base. An email login and multiple social logins could be a good replacement for just the Facebook login.
For now, the platform is providing links to movie and movie ticket sellers, which is no doubt useful to a user as well as a source of revenue to Dapple. But, other similar platforms that we had reviewed recently (Flixstreet, Rinema, The Review Monk) seem to be concentrating on improved user experience and building the platform, with no revenue ideas as yet. Nevertheless, Dapple is in beta now and hopefully is working on enhancing the platform.