A new social media network wants to get rid of all status updates and relationship drama to give users a chance to talk about their favorite movies, music, books and games.
Digital Pal, launching in beta today, allows users to discuss specific subjects without it getting lost amidst all the photos and status updates. It also allows users to discuss their experiences and recommend movies, music, books and games to one another. It also offers powerful tools that recommend new products to users based upon what they already like.
Tatiana Utornik, DigitalPal project manager, explained the main role of the network: “Imagine this situation: “The Hangover” is on tonight. Should you watch it? It may be fun, but is it your kind of fun? Should you risk wasting your time - again? If only you could quickly find out what your friends thought about it. This is where DigitalPal steps in. It allows you to immediately see what your friends had to say about movies you want to see - but also music you want to hear, books you want to read, and games you want to play.”
DigitalPal is attempting to differentiate themselves from the other Web sites that focus on only one type of media like films and music by gathering them all into one place. With the service, users can receive recommendations from their friends and their own ratings.
The most important thing to remember is that DigitalPal is not trying to supplant Facebook. It only seeks to supplement the service for those who wish to share movie recommendations without the clutter of Facebook.
I’ve jumped on board to try the service out and can provide a few more details than what the company offered. First and foremost, users can sign in with their Facebook account which makes using the site much easier.
From there, the site takes you to MoviePal. It asks you to rate 10 movies on a scale of one to 10. You can either rate movies that are already there which are among the most popular films or you can search for the film you want to rate. After rating 10 of them, you are taken to a page with more films and are asked to refine the selection process so it can recommend more movies to you.
This same process is repeated for music, books and games. I’ve already rated my first 10 movies and games so here’s a screengrab of the book selection process to give you an idea of what it looks like at first.
The recommendation refining process lists a series of genres that allow the user to pick and choose which genres they like and then the service will pick out movies or games that belong in those genres. It’s a little wonky as the recommendation service is not always spot on nor does it feature every title out there.
Nonetheless, the service is off to a good start and most recommendations are spot-on. I rated Requiem for a Dream highly and every Darren Aronofsky film was at the top of my list of potential new movies to rate and recommend to friends.
The service features a board for users to display all of their recently rated media alongside their friend’s ratings. You can comment on your friend’s ratings as well as your own.
The rated tab allows you to organize your rated products alongside changing the rating. It’s a useful feature in the case of somebody not liking a movie that much anymore after repeated viewings.
There’s a wishlist so users can list what they want to watch or listen to. The final tab is the catalog which allows users to list every movie, book, album and game that they own. It’s a great way to brag about your collection and let your friends know what you have.
Finally, there’s a bar on the side called, “My Pals” that lists all your Facebook friends and lets you invite them to use DigitalPal. Below that is a bar called, “My Pals Favorites” which lists all of their favorite games, movies, music and books in real time as their lists are updated.
The site is a little rough around the edges now. It’s pretty simplistic aesthetically, but it gets the job done. The site is also in open beta so it’s not fully completed yet. The site’s team want users to try out DigitalPal and let them know what you think.
I for one love the idea of having all of my friend's recommendations in one place. I don't usually agree with the critics at large publications, but I can usually trust my friends' recommendations. This site allows me to easily view those. The only problem is that it's new and other much older and respected sites allow people to recommend stuff to their friends. It's only a matter of time though to see how successful DigitalPal is especially after they exit beta and go into full commercial release.
What do you think? Are you interested in a social networking site that focuses more on media than statuses?