Between Us: Private list sharing comes to Letterboxd

Two new list modes let you share secret links to private lists.
Two new list modes let you share secret links to private lists.

Letterboxd members can now share private lists with others. Ella Kemp unpacks the mechanics of a new feature all about privacy and control. And sharing.

Picture the scene: holidays are coming, you’ve got somebody to spend them with, and you both need to figure out what you want to watch together. It happened to me: my boyfriend and I had just started dating and we wanted to make a watchlist. The snag? We weren’t living together, we wanted to be able to consult the same Letterboxd list between visits, but we didn’t want others snooping on our cheesy holiday watchlist.

Instead of being able to enjoy seeing the poster for While You Were Sleeping fade darker after our New Year’s Eve watch, we clumsily shared screenshots back-and-forth of the one briefly public list on my account. That’s because, until now, you could only set a list to public (everyone sees it) or private (only you see it).

That all changes today, with two new list-sharing options. Introducing the IG Close Friends of Letterboxd lists, where secret links become your very best friends for sharing lists with your best friends. Private lists can now optionally be shared with your Letterboxd friends (members you follow), or with anyone—to accomplish this, enable the relevant sharing mode when editing a list on the web, then send the recipient(s) the private link.

Important note: the new modes (and their associated secret links) are only available on our website for now. Privately shared lists can be viewed in our apps, but a forthcoming update is required to support these new privacy modes when editing a list, and in order to copy the correct link when sharing a private list.

In addition to the new modes, comments and likes are now supported on private lists, so discussion (and appreciation) can happen between members with access. And just to be clear, privately shared lists are still owned and edited by one member, rather than being collaborative. Collaboration is on the horizon; this is a first step down that path.

While you were sleeping, I made us a list of holiday movies to watch together. 
While you were sleeping, I made us a list of holiday movies to watch together. 

So, say you’re organizing a watch party with Letterboxd besties and you all need to be on the same page about which movies are on the agenda for your pre-Barbie group prep. Or, you and your Letterboxd boyfriend have a holiday watchlist to get through. In these scenarios, a list set to be shared just with friends (who are all on Letterboxd, obviously) will do the trick.

Or, let’s say you work in a cinema, and you want to share among the team the next month’s titles before your program is made public. Or you’re making a film, and have curated a list of inspirational titles to share with the cast and crew. In these scenarios, you can share the private list “with anyone” using a supplied private link—the list is then accessible to anyone who has the link. This gives you more flexibility when sharing with your cinema’s luddite manager, or the Letterboxd-less gaffer who is lighting your film.

July 21, here we come. 
July 21, here we come

Let’s run through that again:

  • A public list is for everyone, and appears on your profile and in search.
  • A private list (shared with anyone) has its own secret link, and is accessible by anyone with whom the link is shared. Private lists (shared or not) do not appear on your profile or in search or activity.
  • A private list (shared with friends) has its own secret link, and is only accessible by signed-in Letterboxd members whom the creator follows and shares the link with.
  • A private list is just for you.

If you change your mind at any point over your sharing settings (if, say, the programming changes, or filming has wrapped, or your holiday plans are dashed, or the secret link to your list falls into the wrong hands), simply revert the list to private mode and all access is revoked. If you choose to share privately after setting a list to private mode, you’ll need to share the secret link with the recipient(s) again, as it will have changed.

A privately shared dad-and-daughter list, courtesy of Zack Rippy. 
A privately shared dad-and-daughter list, courtesy of Zack Rippy

A few last points: only the list owner can change the privacy mode of a list, and this can happen at any time, so be aware that any comments you post on a privately shared list may one day become public if the list itself is made public. Second, please be respectful when re-sharing a secret link, as the list owner may only have intended it for your eyes. And lastly, a reminder that our community guidelines still apply, so be kind to our moderators when adding titles and descriptions!

And if you were wondering: after my holiday list had been public for almost twelve hours and I became shy about my own earnestness, it was made private and only belongs to me now. Sorry, everyone. But with this new feature, I’ll be changing it up for the next holiday and sharing it with my one and only.

This could be you, too. Sharing is caring, happy list-making!

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