What is Litsy and Should You Be On It? – Discussion Post

Litsy is a new app created by the same people who run the Out of Print bookish clothing company. Which I can say makes great looking products and I’ve definitely shared some of their stuff on my Facebook page. But their app is most commonly referred to as the marriage of Instagram and Goodreads. As my day job is now all about social media, I figured I would see what it’s all about and give you all a run down.

Features

Profile

Profile | What is Litsy and Should You Be On It? - Discussion Post

Like any other profile, there isn’t too much different. It much more resembles an Instagram profile than a Goodreads one. You can show featured posts (which are posts featured by Litsy) and if you so choose they can appear in your feed. The BIG difference between Instagram here is that your tagline (aka description) can hold MULTIPLE links. I put both my shop link and blog link on there with no issues. They open in safari if you click on them.

Your Feed

Your feed will have three little icons. The first menu looking one is all your posts. The second open book one is everything in your “To Read” stack. And the last is books in your “read” stack. This is the GoodReads connection.

Search

Searching | What is Litsy and Should You Be On It? - Discussion Post

Like Instagram, you can search for People or Tags. But what’s fun about Litsy is that you can also search by book. So, being the times as they are, I did a search for “Crooked Kingdom”. Annoyingly, it came up with multiple suggestions and the only one that looked right had no cover. But meh, I clicked on it.

It gives you a synopsis and shows you all the posts people have made about it. I liked this. But honestly, it’s not much different from just searching the hashtag #crookedkingdom on Instagram.

Post Types

There are 3 types of posts you can make. A Review (green), a blurb (red) and a quote (blue). Blurbs are you fangirling over your book in bookstagram style. When you choose a post type, you type in your text, can tag people, and set it as “contains spoiler” if it does contain a spoiler.

Then people can like the posts, comment, share it, or add it to their stack.

Rating System

Posting a Review | What is Litsy and Should You Be On It? - Discussion Post

If you choose to do a book review the rating system isn’t based on stars. It’s rated on a four-point scale of “pick”, “so-so”, “pan”, and “bail”. And they have helpful little icons so you know what the rating means. These show up at the bottom of the review post. I like this because it feels truer to feelings than the star rating. Sometimes people will rate a book three stars but in their review tell you not to read it.

Photo Editor

Photo Editor | What is Litsy and Should You Be On It? - Discussion Post

Unlike Instagram filters or editing, when you add a picture to Litsy you have a variety of other options including cropping, drawing, text and more on top of the filters available. The most fun one (I think) is that you can make those images where you color in the book you want to show and leave the rest black and white. Something that people were previously doing in a separate editor before moving to Instagram.

Litsy Strengths

The GoodReads Factor

Litsy saw the issue with bookstagram, and that was that you would see a book you thought was interesting. And then have to go and look it up on GoodReads separately. But with this app, you just click on the title in the picture and you can read a synopsis, see posts aka what other people think, and add it to a “to read” list. Something that Instagram lacks.

The Photo Editor

That photo editor is life. I think this photo editor would help a lot of bookstagrammers skip the annoying step of using a separate app to make all those edits.

All-In-One

You can post a photo, quote, review and create stacks of books you want to read next all in one app. You aren’t shifting between Instagram and GoodReads, you can do it all in one place. And it creates a more colourful feed that way. I often wonder if the reason people don’t really comment on GoodReads status updates is because they all look the same because they just use the book cover.

LINKING

Linking | What is Litsy and Should You Be On It? - Discussion Post

This is a HUGE one for book bloggers. I posted a blurb for The Widow, and then in the comments, I linked to my review of it on the blog. I didn’t write a separate GoodReads review, I just linked to my original one. On Instagram, you would have to change your profile link every single time for this. And in GoodReads, if your review was just a link to your blog post you would get skewered. This alone would make me drop both Instagram and Goodreads for Litsy.

Litsy Weaknesses

Users and Experience

GoodReads and Instagram are huge platforms. And Litsy is the new guy/gal. There are a lot of awesome features but if you can’t get people onto the app and using it, it’s for nothing. There are literally billions of Instagram users that can see your photos and comment and like. But on Litsy there is nowhere near that amount.

It’s not a replacement

People have enormous followings on GoodReads and Instagram already. They’re not going to drop all that to move to Litsy. So then you get people using GoodReads, Instagram, AND Litsy and you just end up stretching yourself thin. The issue of creating an app that’s a combination of two other apps is that what you’re adding may not be enough to make people leave the other apps.

And with all the social media there already is, who has the time to create a photo for Instagram and then a completely separate one for Litsy? And if you’re using the same photo you’re now splitting your content and you aren’t bringing new stuff to either one.

I think if Litsy was a GoodReads integration that let your status updates be pictures of the book you’re reading with links that would be amazing. It would spice up the GoodReads update feed for sure and encourage a more social experience. Which is now mostly people monologuing their thoughts.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot of fantastic features on Litsy, and honestly, I would love to see it replace GoodReads and Bookstagram as the go-to platform for book lovers and book bloggers. But I don’t see that happening. It doesn’t have the visual impact of an Instagram feed or the convenience of a GoodReads profile. But I would love to see GoodReads notice the value in a social feed like that and buy them out and have Litsy be a GoodReads integration. But all in all, I don’t think I’ll be using Litsy right now because I’m only just getting my Instagram off the ground and don’t have the time to start splitting my content to Litsy.

Discussion

I know, finally.

What are your thoughts on Litsy if you’ve already used it, or thoughts on why you aren’t using it? Do you think it’s going to catch on as a social media platform in the book community or nah? Will this replace Instagram or GoodReads for you? Or will it be an add-on? And finally, what sorts of things would you like to see on Litsy?

Let me know what you think of Litsy in the comments! Would you use it? Are you already using it? Why or why not?

32 Comments

  • Errin

    November 5, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I just joined Litsy and am kind of using it as an IG/#bookstagram corollary to get my feet wet in the app. I think it’s friendlier and (only a little) more dynamic than IG… and it feels lighter to me, so I like it. I.e., it isn’t yet carrying the weight of commercialism the other platforms do, feel much more chill. That said, I’m so hard in love with Instagram, if I were forced to pick the winning app today, I’d go with Instagram.

    Reply
  • Amanda G.

    May 25, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I downloaded the app, but I don’t think it’s as user friendly as instagram and I have 1 friend on Litsy. I like your idea of a goodreads takeover, especially if all of our friends/followers come with it!

    Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      May 25, 2017 at 9:09 am

      I can agree with that. Instagram will help you out and is pretty easy to get going. Where as Litsy I was also kind of like “okay, what am I supposed to do?” I’m not even sure if people are still using Litsy so I wonder if that takeover is even valuable for Goodreads at this point

      Reply
  • Sharon

    March 8, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I’ve struggled with Goodreads, just started with instagram, really love the ease of Litsy! ❤But do agree, tough to spread all across social media time wise. Still, my novels might attract different readers for different reasons on the various sites…and I just want them to be read and hopefully loved! (Possibility Series: Mending Stone…)

    Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      March 11, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      I could definitely see the point of being on multiple channels if you’re an author for the reason you said of reaching different sorts of readers. I actually hadn’t thought of it that way!

      Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      November 12, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Yeah, you really do have to make time for it. Which I can’t really manage myself but if other people have time then have at it. But you do have to commit to it being another social media to give time to

      Reply
  • Grace Osas

    October 20, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Definitely don’t see myself using this app. I guess there are too many apps to use and create accounts for ._. And I just recently got Goodreads (okay, maybe one or two months ago but it wasn’t that long ago xD)

    Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      October 22, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Yes, is really is a lot of things to keep track of. And it’s harder to get on board when things like GoodReads exists. I think it works better for people that aren’t on so many social channels so it’s not a huge thing to take on.

      Reply
  • Cait @ Paper Fury

    October 7, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Oh this was SO helpful because I’d only vaguely heard of Litsy and I was all “what on earth is that about” but didn’t actually go research it because….#lazy. SO THANK YOU, LIFESAVER. 😉 I actually totally agree with your analysis on the cons though…like just personally, I think it sounds great, but I can’t imagine keeping up ANOTHER social media platform. Instagram and Goodreads are were I have built my audience and I’d always put my effort into that where I can actually see results. Eeep. So like Litsy sounds good in theory, but I don’t think I could be bothered giving it a fair go.
    I WILDLY wish Instagram would allow links in the descriptions though omg….
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Beautiful Books 2016 ~ Introduce Your NovelMy Profile

    Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      October 12, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Yay! Glad it was helpful! Yeah, it’s not really appealing to jump on Litsy if you already have a good following on GoodReads and Instagram because then you’re just adding more to your plate.

      I knowww it would be nice if Instagram did but I think they’re trying to avoid spamming linking I suppose. But it’s frustrating for sure because you can’t give a direct link to book description like you could in Litsy

      Reply
  • Chiqui

    October 1, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Thanks for the post! I totally agree with GR integration, I feel there are already too many social media sites out there but with the integration it would feel less.. daunting, I guess? Litsy’s got really good ideas but I’m afraid it won’t take off as well as it should because people are already spread too thin everywhere else lol.
    I love the review though, very detailed and fair!

    Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      October 3, 2016 at 8:08 am

      Yes, less daunting, and it would be more like a new features vs creating content for a whole new platform. That’s the feeling I get about it too but we’ll see I suppose. Thanks! I tried to be as fair as possible since its new and there will be some people for whom the pros will outweigh the cons

      Reply
  • ShootingStarsMag

    September 30, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I’ve heard of Litsy but I haven’t used it, so I didn’t know a lot about it. I do like the features and that you can edit your photos and link to your review, etc. all in one post. It would be great to have these type of photos on Goodreads so maybe they can work together eventually? I’m using Goodreads more and I’m fairly new to Instagram still and trying to use it for a variety of things, so I can’t really see myself using Litsy at the moment, but who knows? Maybe!

    -Lauren
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…October is Harry Potter MonthMy Profile

    Reply
  • Eve @ Twist in the Taile

    September 30, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Ooh I’ve never actually heard of Litsy! It sounds really cool, and I especially liked the rating system. (Because everyone Goodreads rates differently — like, three stars for one person might be solid for one but not good for another.) I’m not actually even on Instagram myself, though; I just feel like I don’t have the time & I’d get addicted instead of doing schoolwork! Which alas has to be done. But I might check this one out anyways and see if it ever becomes a bit more popular!
    Eve @ Twist in the Taile recently posted…On Banned Books & Censoring Teen FictionMy Profile

    Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      September 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Oh! If you aren’t on Instagram then it may be worth it for casual shots. But then you still have to take the pics which is the time consuming bit. But I completely understand what you said about the star system, super subjective

      Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      September 30, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Yes, adding yet another social media can be so daunting. I’ve been pondering Snapchat as well but aren’t on it for the same reason. There’s def no harm in making an account and trying it out though!

      Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      September 30, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Oh!!! That’s so good! I never thought of that, like it could be for casual sitting and reading pics and insta could be for more put together photo shoots. That would make it feel less daunting. Yeah there’s not much beating the GoodReads system there. Not unless they make it so you can export books you find there to your Goodreads later.

      Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      September 30, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      No problem! Yes, that’s a big issue with it. Adding another social media when it’s doing something that two are already doing fairly well on their own. But maybe if it becomes more popular. I’m excited to see how it evolves too!

      Reply
  • Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    September 29, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    GAH this is so helpful! Seriously, THANK YOU! One of my friends (hi Val!) was asking if any of us knew much about Litsy and really, I don’t think we did! Just the basics, which really wasn’t enough to decide whether I wanted to use it. And I agree with you- in theory it sounds great, and would be kind of amazing for Goodreads to like, join forces (or basically, buy and implement the idea from them I guess). Because let’s be real, I am not ever going to be able to keep up with ANOTHER social media at this point. I mean, I just posted about sucking at Instgram so… 😉 Like maybe if I were just starting out it would make sense but… yeah, great in theory, maybe not so much in practice. I LOVE this post, you have definitely helped me decide about this for sure (and it’s a hard pass at this point hahha).
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…This Adventure Ends Blog Tour: This Adventure SwimsMy Profile

    Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      September 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      I had the same issue which is why I ended up doing all the research because I had no idea what it was about. Haha it’s true, Instagram is enough of a hurdle all on its own. Though I finally changed gears on it and I think it’s working? A hard pass is alright, I totally understand. I thought I had decided but now I’m on the fence again lol. But I’m so happy this post was able to help people out either way

      Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      September 30, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      I didn’t even realize it didn’t have notifications!!! But that’s so true. I just assumed no one liked my pic blurbs and quotes makes sense especially if it’s meant to be a quick thing. If I posted a review it would be like 2 sentences and then a link to my blog post. I think the blurbs and quotes would be more popular in general. But in good reads I can export quotes I highlighted in my Kindle which is just too attractive to pass up

      Reply
  • Rowena

    September 29, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I downloaded Litsy onto my phone a few months back and didn’t really give it a shot since it felt a lot like starting over and I wasn’t about that at the time but after reading your post, I’m re-thinking that since you’ve listed things that I’ve always wanted in one app.

    Thanks for this post!

    Reply
    • ltlibrarian

      September 29, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      I 100% understand that feeling of starting over. I think a lot of people will feel like that. But it is a great all-in-one. If enough people get into it then it may very well be worth switching. Thanks for visiting 🙂

      Reply

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