A lot of people have been asking us what have we been up to here in Vancouver in the past couple of months. Well, we’ve been really busy building our new product – a Social News Reader – and we’re finally ready to share it with the world!
As of today we’re starting to send out invites to people who have subscribed on our invite list (it’s on the home page). We’re going to roll them out in small batches so that we can test our system, so it’s probably going to take a couple of weeks for us to go through all of them. If you signed up for an invite you will receive one soon, just have patience.
So, what’s a Social News Reader?
People are increasingly getting their news from the social networks they’re part of (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), but this is rapidly getting overwhelming. If you’re connected with a few hundred people and companies, it’s hard to stay on top of the news they share. There’s currently no way to get the important stuff without going through all your news.
Summify gives you a river of news in a way that you can consume it in minutes, rather than hours. The important stuff bubbles up at the top so, however much time you have at your disposal, you always know you’re reading the important stuff first.
It’s a HTML5 web app (only modern browsers supported, sorry!). It aggregates all your incoming news from your Twitter and Google Reader account (Facebook and Google Buzz support on the way!). It then curates your news feed by using the social reactions gathered from your networks. The important news makes it to the Top News section. There’s also a Recent News section that allows you to see everything in chronological order.
I tell you, it’s awesome! (for a product in private beta)
Isn’t RSS dead? Isn’t the news industry dying?
While RSS has been declared dead and the news industry is slowly dying, that doesn’t mean that people have stopped reading their news. On the contrary, people are getting more and more news and they can’t really keep up with it. We know the road to solving personalized news is paved with dead startups, but we believe that by capitalizing on some new trends in the industry (people are using their social network to curate their news, mobile smartphones and touchpads enable you to read stuff anywhere) we have a really good chance of solving this problem!
Private beta again?
Some of you might remember that we started out at Bootup Labs in January with a very different product. One of the benefits of being in an incubator is that you can quickly get feedback, learn from it and iterate – and that’s just what we did. We realized our product wasn’t differentiated enough and it wasn’t what the publisher market wanted – we had a really good solution for the wrong problem. :)
Thanks to good mentorship and advice we looked at what we’re passionate (hint: we’re huge news junkies!) and we took all the lessons we learned from the previous product and applied them here. Only time will tell if this was the right move, but we’re much more confident about this new product!
I guess you can call this change a “pivot”, apparently it’s all the rage right now in the startup world!
We love feedback! Give Summify a try once you receive your invite and let us know what you think!