Though there are many early adopters and adventurous folks who are willing to try a new product or service without a second thought, a vast majority of people make it a point to read up or gather reviews from their peers before trying out something new.
While some reviews are accurate, some may not be as per expectation because different people have different tastes and views. Taking this into consideration, Buzzreel aims to provide movie ratings by tapping into Twitter.
What is it?
Buzzreel is a Twitter-based movie rating application that rates upcoming and running movies on a scale of 1 to 10. It collects sentiments on Twitter and categorizes them into positive or negative reactions. They have defined a dictionary to give points to certain keywords. For example, they give the word ‘awesome’ a rating of ‘9’. They currently track Hollywood and Bollywood movies.
The app perpetually keeps receiving users’ tweets for movies and does some number crunching based on their algorithms. After logging in to the app, users will see a grid of films that are in theatres’ and tabs for‘upcoming’ and ‘top movies’ which are calculated based on a combination of sentiment analysis and also factoring the volume of tweets.
This idea came to Virendra Oswal while he was reading the book ‘Hatching Twitter’ by Nick Bilton. Virendra, Anjaneya Jha and Nikhar Khandelwal brainstormed about how they could utilize the large volume of content on Twitter and gain some usable insights from it.
They thought: “Nowadays people rely on movie ratings websites before deciding to watch a movie or not. But most portals require users to login and then provide their rating, hence missing out the opinion of a significant amount of population which doesn’t wish to login and vote.” So they thought why not gather public opinion in a non-intrusive manner from public tweets and provide trends and analysis around it.
Virendra (ex-Oracle) currently works at Amdocs and looks after Android development, backend development and marketing at Buzzreel. Anjaneya, an IIT alumnus currently working as a software developer at an MNC in Mumbai, looks after backend development and branding. Nikhar, a BITS Pilani alumni currently works at Oracle, and looks after Android development and design at Buzzreel. The startup aims to compete with IMDB, rotten Tomatoes and Bookmyshow. Some other noteworthy startups in this space include gomolo, FanMango. Twitflicks did something similar to Buzzreel on a web platfrom, but seems that they are no longer active.
Performance graph: The app includes a performance graph to show the buzz around different movies and also indicate how they are performing.
Social elements: Users can share movie ratings across different social media channels and add them to a watch list. They can also check out movie posters, cast, theme, genre, trailer of a movie within the app. Users can also read live tweets regarding the concerned movie.
What we liked?
The idea and concept are interesting and well executed to a certain extent. The ability to get relevant information about a particular movie and understand the popularity and ‘buzz’ around it through a graph is interesting.
Also the ability to see ratings out of 10 for a particular movie and compare it to the volume of tweets adds to the credibility of the rating. Through my observations I found that the ratings for different movies were accurate based on current trends.
What could be improved?
Buzzreel claims to have an accuracy of about 80-85%. It will be interesting to see how they could improve their algorithm and provide more accurate results. Considering trolls and sarcasm that is prevalent on social media platforms, they might find it difficult to attain very high levels of accuracy, but in the long run, it may not affect final movie ratings too much.
Though Buzzrell claims that it is possible to retweet tweets on their Google play page, currently users can only tweet them from within the app. The founders confirmed that they are working on this.
They also added that in the future they will provide data about the buzz before a movie launch, then reset the tweet counter and provide rating after the movie launches to give users an idea if the hype around a movie was justified.
Buzreel is a unique value proposition for the current smartphone generation and with short movie reviews in 140 characters and analysis of the trend in a rating system out of 10, enhances the appeal for the current generation. It will be interesting to see how they scale up going forward and also monetize their app. The app is only available only on Android as of now.
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