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MightyTV can be equated to the Tinder of shows and movies. Unlike Tinder, which simply brings up other users profiles on a proximity basis, MightyTV aims to analyze your swipes, tailoring its suggestions the more you interact. “The problem I wanted to solve was discovery,” founder Brian Adams said in an interview with Wired. “I felt it was getting a lot more difficult,” he said.
Plagued are we by the disappointing feeling of curling up on the couch to watch TV, only to scroll endlessly and find nothing.
To combat this, the app presents a single movie poster to the user at a time instead of giving a multitude of options. If you want to know more about the title, you can simply tap the screen and it flips over with a short summary, ratings, awards, and a trailer (if available). Another tap brings you back to the poster, and in similar Tinder fashion, you can swipe right, left, or up. Swiping right indicates the title is something you’ve seen before and enjoyed, swiping left means you disliked it or are uninterested, swiping up allows you to defer making a decision; and to “Love” something, you can hold the screen with your thumb after swiping right.
The app advertises its potential to guide haphazard watchers through an adorable pink cupcake at the top of the screen. The tiny treat encourages the user to keep swiping as the app learns from the user’s choices, using a special algorithm to theoretically determine titles the user would potentially like.
MightyTV’s concept sounded promising, so I decided to try it out.
One thing I also appreciated (as a student, especially) is the option to include—or in my case, exclude—content that will cost extra cash. If you decide you’re willing to throw down a few dollars for movie night though, the app will let you specify your price range once you get further in.
Now that we’re all settled, let the swiping begin. Our cupcake friend introduces The Wolf of Wall Street, a popular film no doubt, as the first suggestion. More and more titles are presented with each swipe of the finger, but before indulging too much, I thought I’d peruse through the app to see what else it has to offer.
Aside from customizable search options, there is a collection of media you’ve favorited or added to your watch list, as well as some basic analytics from you and other users of the app.
Let it be known how addicting and fun swiping can be. Initially I only had seven swipes to my name. Since the app boasts its ability to read your tastes, I took an extra few minutes to keep swiping—suddenly my count was 147.
Even for someone like me, who doesn’t binge on TV often, MightyTV still proved helpful.
As far as the algorithm goes, it’s still rough around the edges. In order to get a sense of what you like, the app does have to go through virtually every genre—and present it multiple times—to understand your opinion on each. So if you’re not patient, it’s potentially frustrating. Also if you haven’t watched too many movies or TV shows, you’ll find yourself wondering if you should swipe right or left based on whether or not you think you’d like a suggestion. Otherwise you’re just swiping up a lot, which can’t really speak to your likes.
Maybe the developers will implement a “Hate” option to complement the “Love.” For example, every time a horror title appeared, I swiped left faster than you can say “nope!” Perhaps being able to express an opinion on both sides of the spectrum would help the app in choosing what to suggest next.
One other feature worth mentioning is MightyTV’s Mashup ability. It pulls your preferences and your friends’ preferences and, well, mashes them up. The app analyzes everyone’s tastes, loves, and watch lists and tries to suggest things that seem to match with each. It tailors its search power toward groups instead of an individual. Gone are the days of asking “What do you wanna watch?” disappointingly met with “I don’t know, whatever.” (Each person has to have the app for it to work though.)
Screengrab via TechCrunch/YouTube
Sherry Tucci is a fandom reporter who specializes in Korean pop culture and anime. In addition to her work at the Daily Dot, her reporting has appeared in the Daily Texan.