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social discovery platform“What to watch?” is a commonly heard phrase around my house. After a long day’s work, we start up Netflix Two Very Useful Web Apps for Netflix Two Very Useful Web Apps for Netflix Read More and start looking through their many choices. With so many options it is hard to find something that you know you will like. Netflix has a recommendations engine which looks at what you’ve watched and makes recommendations based on that – but for me it seems hit or miss. Is there a better way?

Inveni claims that robot “recommendation algorithms” are dead. Where an algorithm can take certain categories of a film and make recommendations based on your past history, ratings and viewing patterns it is their assertion that old-fashioned ‘friend’ recommendations are best. Officially launched at TechCrunch Disrupt this year, Inveni aims to solve this problem.

social discovery platform

When you sign up for Inveni – using a normal username/password or via Facebook Connect, you will first import any past ‘ratings’ you’ve made on other sites including Netflix, Blockbuster, IMDB and others. These ratings form a basis for future recommendations.

social engine

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You then proceed to let the service know what some of your favorite movies and categories are. Starting from this point Inveni begins to recommend movies and television shows based on your interest.

social engine

social engine

To further personalize your movies recommendations Inveni encourages you to invite your friends to the service or to find friends already using it.

social search

The ‘find friends’ feature seemed to need some work to me. How it is currently set up is not only a security problem (since it will search the list of all users, not just people you already know, you can harvest lists of names off of the service) but it seems like there should be a better way to find friends, either via Twitter or Google Contacts import or some other method.

social search

social search

Integration with Netflix is a dream. It works with Netflix’s API to import your existing recommendations as well as display what is currently in your Netflix DVD and Instant Streaming queue. You can effectively switch out of the Netflix recommendation engine and start using Inveni to find movies on the Netflix platform.

social discovery platform

Also of note is the Firefox toolbar integration. After you install the Plugin it will pop up (as a bottom bar) on dozens of sites which list movies such as Amazon, Netflix, Best Buy and others. This gives you an integrated way to find out what movies have been rated by the Inveni community and also continue to add your ratings to movies – therefore making it more accurate in its own recommendations.

All of that being said, I think Inventi is on to something. Although in its current setup, with most ratings pulled in from Netflix or other services, I’m not sure how it differs from any other “robot algorithm” services but they are making the claim that once you have a network set up the recommendation engine is more heavily influenced by friends than algorithms.

Only once you add in the social factor does the service start to differentiate itself, and with the lack of a wide-base of users at the moment, it is hard to argue that it does any better than Netflix itself. If I were to make a recommendation to the company, it would be to get better integration with Twitter and other social networks to ‘widen the net’ so to speak and get as many of your friends onto the service as possible. Until then, services like [NO LONGER WORKS] Fflick are simply easier to use.

Do you use Inveni? How do you find the recommendations versus what you would find in a “traditional” recommendation engine?

  1. Pedro
    December 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Website is amazing.
    Downside? You have to be registred to see profiles and for me that´s just a "no good". made me delete the account unfortunatly.

  2. Pedro
    December 17, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Website is amazing.
    Downside? You have to be registred to see profiles and for me that´s just a "no good". made me delete the account unfortunatly.

  3. Inveni.com
    October 16, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Hi Everyone,

    We wanted to address some of the issues raised in this post about Inveni.

    We plan on adding additional integration with social networks like Twitter and others to make it easier for you to find friends on Inveni. Currently, we integrate with Facebook and suggest friends to connect with Inveni that you are already friends with on Facebook. We also plan on changing the way the search box works making it easier and more effective to find people you know on Inveni.

    What makes us different from Netflix is that the data that powers our algorithm is “human-powered”. What we mean by that is that movies which are connected on our website have been verified by an actual human. If users do not agree with movies which have been connected together, they have the ability to change it by voting on the titles. Also, when new movies come out, they can immediately be connected to other similar movies. So, instead of Netflix saying Braveheart is similar to Strangeheart, Lady Jane, The Pianist, The Thin Red Line, and Syriana, Inveni recommends movies like Robin Hood, Gladiator, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and The Patriot. You can see the differences in our data compared to Netflix’s all over Inveni.

    We are actively working on additional features and polishes to make Inveni work better for our users.

    We are always looking for additional comments and suggestions. If you have any or experience issues or problems, please get in contact with us.

    http://www.twitter.com/discove...
    http://www.facebook.com/inveni
    http://www.getsatisfaction.com...

    Or, you can drop us a note at support[at]inveni[dot]com.

    Thanks,
    The Team at Inveni
    http://www.inveni.com

  4. Inveni.com
    October 15, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    We wanted to address some of the issues raised in this post about Inveni.

    We plan on adding additional integration with social networks like Twitter and others to make it easier for you to find friends on Inveni. Currently, we integrate with Facebook and suggest friends to connect with Inveni that you are already friends with on Facebook. We also plan on changing the way the search box works making it easier and more effective to find people you know on Inveni.

    What makes us different from Netflix is that the data that powers our algorithm is “human-powered”. What we mean by that is that movies which are connected on our website have been verified by an actual human. If users do not agree with movies which have been connected together, they have the ability to change it by voting on the titles. Also, when new movies come out, they can immediately be connected to other similar movies. So, instead of Netflix saying Braveheart is similar to Strangeheart, Lady Jane, The Pianist, The Thin Red Line, and Syriana, Inveni recommends movies like Robin Hood, Gladiator, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and The Patriot. You can see the differences in our data compared to Netflix’s all over Inveni.

    We are actively working on additional features and polishes to make Inveni work better for our users.

    We are always looking for additional comments and suggestions. If you have any or experience issues or problems, please get in contact with us.

    http://www.twitter.com/discoverinveni
    http://www.facebook.com/inveni
    http://www.getsatisfaction.com/inveni

    Or, you can drop us a note at support[at]inveni[dot]com.

    Thanks,
    The Team at Inveni
    http://www.inveni.com

    • Aibek
      October 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

      thanks for dropping by.

  5. 护眼一号
    October 14, 2010 at 10:33 am

    不错!我帮顶~~!

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