Most of the time, word of mouth is pretty reliable when you’re trying to decide on your next movie rental or book purchase. If your friend says it’s good, then it’s probably worth checking out.
But sometimes you’ll be browsing around and see something you’ve never heard of before. Maybe it was a movie that went straight to video. Maybe it’s a book in a sale bin marked 50% off. Either way, you’re curious enough to wonder if it’s any good or if you should keep on walking. Wouldn’t it be handy to know what others thought of it?
Enter TxtReviews, a new free service that lets you text the title of a movie or the ISBN number of a book and receive a free text message that gives you a number rating (out of 10) along with the number of people who have rated it. In addition, if it’s a book review, you get new and used pricing from Amazon.ca, which may sway your buying decision one way or the other.
The service is powered by Amazon.ca’s parent company Amazon.com. Their user ratings database is massive, so we’re not talking about a niche audience here – many of the ratings have been compiled from hundreds or thousands of user votes, depending on the title.
It’s dead simple to use. To try it out, I sent a text to the service with the words "Buckaroo Banzai". I was curious to see the rating for this low-budget cult ’80s film which I adore. About five seconds later, I got a reply back. Looks like 198 Amazon.com users agree with me and have given it a 9/10 review.
Next, I tried the ISBN number for Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Betrayal. Seems people aren’t so hot on this one – it got a 6/10 from 35 readers.
The service worked flawlessly, and for those looking for a little help in making that impulse buy or rental it’s a handy tool to save in your address book.
Keep in mind that even though receiving the text message review is free, your mobility provider will still charge you in accordance with your rate plan for the outgoing text message.
Would you use this service? If you use it, let us know what you think!