The Internet Movie Database will disable its message boards and private messaging system on February 20, IMDb announced on Friday.
“After in-depth discussion and examination, we have concluded that IMDb’s message boards are no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide,” the site posted on its Message Boards page. “The decision to retire a long-standing feature was made only after careful consideration and was based on data and traffic.”
The announcement also notes that IMDb customers use the site’s social media accounts as the primary platforms to post comments and communicate with the site’s editors and each other. In addition to the IMDb Facebook page, which has more than 6.5 million followers, and Twitter account, followed by nearly 3 million users, IMDb maintains official accounts on Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr.
IMDb made the announcement two weeks in advance of the action so that the “small but passionate community of IMDb users” could archive message board content they want to keep for personal use. In addition to the flagship website, the subscription site IMDb Pro includes all of IMDb’s filmography data plus features specifically designed for industry professionals, like film and TV projects that are still in development. IMDbPro subscriptions cost $149.99 per year or $19.99 per month.
IMDb declined to comment beyond the official announcement.
“We will continue to enhance our current offerings and launch new features in 2017 and beyond that will help our customers communicate and express themselves in meaningful ways while leveraging emerging technologies and opportunities,” the company said in the announcement. “We regret any disappointment or frustration IMDb message board users may experience as a result of this decision.”