Percolate: The news filter which ‘helps interesting content bubble to the surface’
New York-based startup Percolate is joining the content curation game with a news filtering tool which works by ‘bubbling up interesting content based on your network’ and letting you react and share. It’s already been implemented by commercial clients including news giant Reuters, giving the team a solid financial base upon which to develop their consumer product.
‘Percolate is a curation engine,’ explains co-founder Noah Brier. ‘It helps everyone become a curator by digging up interesting links for you to share and making it easy to comment on them.’
The site is in ‘double secret alpha’ at the moment which means you need an invite to get started. After connecting your account with Google Reader and Twitter you get a screen split into two columns:
- Your Brew: featuring links to your personalised content
- Percolating: showing the links you and your connections have tagged and commented on.
You can tag any of the content with Interesting, Win, Awesome, Fail or your own label, then add a comment. You can post to Twitter if you wish. Not Facebook though, just Twitter.
I like the clean, light interface. I like the way they’ve gone easy on the coffee puns when it must have been so tempting do otherwise. I also like the stories that are ‘bubbling up to the surface’; they all seem to be interesting and relevant to me, and not anything that I’d spotted elsewhere. So their algorithms must be working some magic behind the scenes.
The main problem they face is social fatigue. First you need to tell people about your product, then you need to get them excited about it, then (and this is the difficult bit) you have to keep them coming back. When you already check Twitter, Facebook, maybe new kid on the block Google+, is there time in the day to look after another social platform, however good the content? How can Percolate hope to compete?
‘We ultimately see them as part of the ecosystem,’ says Brier. ‘We plan to push and pull from any platform with an open API.’
They already have several major clients on their books who are using Percolate, such as Reuters, who have implemented the tool in news site Counterparties.com. Described by AdAge as news aggregation with usability at the core, the tool helps editors filter through the masses of stories coming through and publish the links quickly and easily. According to the AdAge article the fees for commercial clients are $10,000-$20,000, and seeing as the Percolate About page says they have five to announce shortly, it looks like they’ve got a good financial base upon which they can develop the consumer product further.
The idea is to offer a tool which helps brands and media companies create content at social scale but which can also be used by individuals. So far it’s looking pretty successful. ‘We launched a few weeks ago and we’re still private alpha,’ says Brier. ‘So far the response has been excellent, people are really enjoying what we’re doing and we’re seeing a lot of commentary start to emerge on the platform. We’ve got some big features being released over the next few weeks at which point we’ll be prepared to take the covers off and be a little more public about what we’re working on.’
The Percolate team have been in touch to say:
1. They will be allowing people to post to Facebook in the near future
2. They also send out a daily email featuring your top five links of the day which they say is a great point of interaction
3. Here’s an invite to Percolate for all Wall Blog readers.