People — especially young people — are spending more time online, and they’re developing loyalties to certain social networking sites.
Many young people have profiles and friends at multiple sites (Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, etc), and it takes effort to keep click through friends’ profiles to see what they’re up to. Spokeo is a new Mountain View start-up that tries to solve that problem.
It is another one of those things that seems so obvious, and helpful: It gives you a way to import, into one page, all of the postings your friends have made at about 20 popular social networking sites. In other words, it combines Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and all the others into one.
See image below. Our left arrow shows where the user has imported all their buddies from the other sites listed on the sidebar. These are imported by pressing an “add” button (a menu lets you pick which site to go to, and then which buddies to import). The right arrow points to the main area where the posts scroll from the other sites, from the user’s buddies.
It also offers a “recommendation” feature. If your friend wants to recommend something they see, they push a recommend button, and the item shows up on your page — even if the source of recommended post wasn’t from one of your direct friends. Higher on the sidebar is a control panel, where you can do things like toggle between your own profiles (“Me”) and those of your friends.
There are a few bugs. We clicked on some of the content, and it appeared MySpace and YouTube were blocking access to some of the content. Also, there are some bugs when creating and pulling in your own profile from some of these sites. But it is early days, and the idea is a good one. And its not like these sites being pulled from will be bending over backward to help. We’ve written before about how MySpace, in particular, has tried to block efforts to draw attention from its site.
Ray Chen, a Stanford student, and two roommates, launched a testing version of the site in April. At the time, they raised an angel round from undisclosed investors in the “low hundreds of thousands.” They officially launched two weeks ago.
They are now six engineers and are looking to hire their first business development person, Chen told us earlier Wednesday. They’re crammed in a 600 sq foot office on Shoreline, enough space for the six people and three plants.
It plans to make money from advertising, but hasn’t started yet.