There are quite a few apps that let you log the movies, TV shows and books that you have watched and read. Some of them are indie apps that take advantage of various online databases. Some of them, like Letterboxd, Goodreads and Trakt, are full-fledge services with large communities of users.
Memorizer starts with that same idea and shows you that it’s always nice to write a list of the things you’ve enjoyed to revisit them later. But it goes in another direction. This mobile app also helps you find inspiration and encourages you to discover new things.
And it’s been working quite well as the startup has managed to attract a loyal user base of 70,000 monthly active users. More important, those users keep reopening the app over the long run. In a pitch deck, the company claims that around 50% of users still use the app after three months. And if you’re not familiar with metrics about consumer mobile apps, that number is unusually high.
It starts with a handful of features that let you quickly add things to help you remember them later. By default, Memorizer lets you create lists of books, movies and TV shows, but also places, such as restaurants, museums, exhibitions and cities.
These are just some list ideas as you can also use the app to log video games, remember all the concerts you’ve attended, add podcasts and more. The idea, as the name of the app suggests, is that Memorizer will act as a sort of brain dumping app.
“We naturally forget 80% of what we do. The brain eliminates 80% of your day. And this purging mode doesn’t work so well with our modern lives,” founder and CEO Charles Baron told me. He mentioned social media, the constant influx of push notifications and 24-hours news channels as responsible for cognitive overload.
“As a result, we tend to forget the things we really love. For instance, I used to read books and forget what was in the book a few weeks later. Sometimes, a year later, I’d completely forget that I’d read the book even though I’d really liked it.”
Every “memory” you add to the app can either be something you’ve just experienced, or something that has been recommended to you for later reference. As you may have guessed, Memorizer lets you follow other people and add memories from the “Inspirations” tab. When you add something to your profile, you can choose to make it public or private.
Finally, Memorizer also has private and public groups. These public groups work a bit like thematic groups to find new recipes or check recent movie releases. It’s a refreshing alternative to spammy search results in Google.
Power users also create lists of their favorite books of all time or the best movies from 2023. You get the idea, if you love creating lists and sharing them with others, Memorizer is a nice tool for that.
When you add something to your profile, you can use the built-in search feature. You can usually type a word or two and filter by type (movie, book, restaurant, etc.) to find what you’re looking for. You can also start a post from a photo.
An alternative to recommendation algorithms
Memorizer isn’t just a visual note-taking app designed for lists. While there are a ton of sub-communities focusing on Italian cuisine, detective novels or travel advice on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube, Memorizer also promotes a different way to consume content.
Instead of letting the algorithm recommend your next TV show on Netflix, Memorizer promotes a decision-centric consumption model. If you want to watch a movie, you already have a list of recommendations in the Memorizer app. And if it’s in this list, it’s because you received a recommendation from someone you know or you were actively looking for recommendations in public groups.
That’s also the reason why the startup is betting on its core community to turn this app into a successful business, as it’s the best way to align interests. You can create an account for free but you need a premium subscription to create private memories and be able to create more custom lists. The company has also raised €900,000 so far (nearly $1 million at today’s exchange rate) from Kima Ventures and several business angels.
Memorizer describes its app as the Strava for culture and hobbies. And it’s a good way to describe this mix of personal logging and social features. It starts with recording what you read, watched and experienced — and finding what’s next. Now, let’s see if Memorizer can turn this interesting app idea into the next big consumer social app.