Check-in apps are hugely popular, and the option is there to announce to the world that you’re enjoying just about any pastime, whether it’s watching the latest episode of Dexter, eating a meal at Nobu, or tagging who you’re with at a specific location. The chance to over-share is ready and waiting.
The Internet Movie Database has offered a check-in option for most films and TV shows listed on its website since late last year. The idea behind it seemed to be to build a list of what you’d watched, rather than anything more social.
However, the real action was to come, as IMDb.com’s help page suggested at the time we should all “stay tuned” for a mobile version.
That time has now arrived, as the iOS and Android IMDb apps have been updated and now include mobile check-ins, which can instantly be shared with Twitter and Facebook, and then appear under Your Lists when you’re done.
IMDb’s move into the movie/TV check-in market sees them go head-to-head with established apps such as Miso and Get Glue, both of which offer much more than just tweeting a message saying “I’m watching Twilight!” or something similar.
It’s a numbers game
Miso is focused on making watching TV more social, and connects with DirectTV receivers and AT&T’s U-Verse, while Get Glue has options to check in to everything from films, games and books, to what wine you’re drinking or even what you’re thinking about.
Both have evolved from being simple check-in apps, and are great at covering both the social and discovery aspect of check-in services. IMDb’s method is far simpler, and doesn’t do much else except check you in.
This simplicity could be a benefit, as Get Glue could be accused of spreading itself too thin by including too many options, while several Miso features are a little too specific, limiting its international appeal. On the other hand, Get Glue and Miso’s user interface is far more attractive than IMDb’s attempt.
Then there’s the number of users. IMDb has also announced that its app has been downloaded 40 million times across both Android and iOS since it launched in 2010, and that it sees 150 million visits to its apps and mobile site each month.
At the end of last year, according to Miso’s CEO, the app had 250,000 users, while Get Glue announced it had two million users in January this year. By comparison, around the same time Foursquare said it had 10 million users.
IMDb (or more specifically, Amazon) is serious about increasing social interaction, as its busy message boards have been give a mobile-friendly overhaul too, and the new check-in feature ties in well.
The sheer size of the numbers involved in IMDb’s initial venture into the check-in world surely puts it on the road to success.