With Facebook's help, movie-review hub Rotten Tomatoes on Friday debuted new social tools to facilitate personalized recommendations based on users' tastes and reviews from friends.
The initiative has been in the works since Flixster Inc. -- owner of online movie community Flixster.com -- acquired Rotten Tomatoes from IGN Entertainment at the beginning of the year.
"Flixster has been a social movie discovery service since the beginning," said Joe Greenstein, co-founder and CEO of Flixster. "There was a lot of technology work that needed to happen for us to fully integrate the new site with our platform."
In partnership with Facebook, Rotten Tomatoes is bringing Facebook's instant personalization program to the site, which means users can see the opinions of their Facebook friends immediately upon coming to Rotten Tomatoes.
"This integration lets us instantly personalize Rotten Tomatoes for our users based on only their public profile information -- nothing private is ever shared," Greenstein points out. "The benefit to users is that we're able to sort through the billions of movie ratings and recommendations we have and instantly show them the ones that are most relevant for them."
For advertisers, the ability to personalize the site means Rotten Tomatoes can show more relevant ads based on genres and subjects, according to Greenstein. Also, "having so many users be socially connected with so many friends ... helps spread amazing word-of-mouth."
Presently, Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes claim to attract over 30 million monthly visitors online and via mobile devices.
Per the deal acquisition at the beginning of the year, News Corp.-owned IGN took a minority stake in Flixster, while Roy Bahat, president of IGN Entertainment, joined Flixster's board of directors.
The acquisition allowed Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes to combine their audiences for advertisers, offering greater scale, reach, and potential for cross-promotions with ad sales across both sites.