Letterboxd is an online social networking service co-founded by Matthew Buchanan and Karl von Randow in 2011. 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. Members can use it as a diary to record their opinions about films, keep track of films they have seen in the past, and showcase their favourite films on their profile pages. Films can be rated, reviewed, and tagged with relevant keywords.
The site was launched at Brooklyn Beta in October 2011, and attracted more than 17,000 beta testers over the next six months. It transitioned from private to public beta on 24 April 2012, with all pages becoming publicly visible. Membership remained invitation-only until 8 February 2013, when it was opened for public use. The site also introduced a tiered structure, with both free membership and paid memberships which allowed access to Letterboxd Pro. Pro members received personalised "Year in Review" pages.
Creating an account is mandatory for users. Account holders can maintain lists of films they have watched, or wish to watch, and interact with other members and add them as friends.
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.