If you’re skeptical of Amazon’s customer reviews and find that Netflix’s recommendations are never quite right, you might check out Trusted Opinion.
The Palo-Alto, Calif, company believes that your friends’ recommendations on things such as books, restaurants and music events should have more weight than those of the anonymous masses. The answer? Yes, another social network.
Trusted Opinion today added the ability to instantly add a recommended movie to your Netflix queue, an interesting touch, considering that Netflix not an open system, and Trusted Opinion expended significant effort to add this function.
We’ve been trying out Trusted Opinion’s general service for several months, and came to dislike it because it makes it a little too easy to spam everyone in your e-mail contacts and other social networks. We registered, and were getting notes from friends about everything they like and dislike — not just movies, but on other things too — even though we hadn’t opted in to get the notifications. Aggressive email campaigns, however, are par for the course these days — for drawing users.
Flixster, and more especially Spout focus on user-generated recommendations mixed with social elements, but Trusted Opinion’s main hook is its customized ratings. The ratings you see, on a scale from one to ten (including decimals) are based on the opinions of the people in your immediate and extended network. Friend2Friend has a similar approach, but focuses on consumer products instead of movies.
We wonder, though, if this latest feature of Netflix integration will be worth it; Netflix already has a decent recommendation system, and is currently trying to make it more social already.
Trusted Opinion has raised a little more than $1 million.