When you’re looking for a new TV show to watch, sure, you can ask your friends for recommendations. But wouldn’t it be better if you could get connected to someone on the other side of the world who likes almost the exact types of shows and music as you? It’s tough to keep up-to-date with all the movies, TV shows, music, and books out there, but luckily a new Helsinki-based startup, RecThing, is helping people across the world connect to their “taste soulmates” with the launch of their public beta.
Some companies like Netflix and Amazon try to facilitate recommendations automatically, but they lack the personal touch of real recommendations which dig deeper into the niches, rather than safe mainstream content. Recthing allows users to recommend books, TV Shows, movies, games, and music, and then follow users to see what else they recommend, which clusters users together rather than content.
To get started with RecThing, you first can go through 20 pieces of media to train the algorithm. If you connect your Facebook account when creating a profile on RecThing, it will also import your “likes” to add more initial depth.
Once inside the service, you then can follow people and see a feed of what people have recommended. You can then recommend the same content too, or just “like” or “dislike” things to get a quick opinion out there. Recthing CEO William Coates tells us that they’re not trying to create their own social network, but users can also comment on media, and share why they recommend things.
The service is also gamified to an extent; you receive badges for recommending things that become popular, and there’s even a Tastemakers’ leaderboard of people that have given top recommendations.
The service is monetized through Amazon and iTunes affiliate links to the media, but the company is staying open to other channels, such as sponsored tastemakers from professional DJs.
Below is a walkthrough video that goes into many more of RecThing’s features in detail.