The war of the social aggregators, or “social homepage” websites is on. Four new services have launched in the last few months. After diligently covering RebelMouse, Glossi and Hypemarks, we’d be remiss to overlook the latest – Vizify. The startup, part of the last TechStars Seattle class, has comparable goals to its competitors: It neatly aggregates our social feeds into one nice-looking profile.
Vizify launched a week ago amid the increasingly crowded market and it’s already amassed 17,000 profiles with 3,000 more in the closed beta queue. The site has crossed a million pageviews in its first week.
All four of the new sites make your various social media feeds into a single dynamic snapshot. They’re the next step on the age-old static About.me page, as the Web moves beyond pages and into “the feed.” Glossi and Hypemarks already offer a “follow” function where users can choose to receive updates from their friends’ feeds to Tumblr’s dashboard.
Vizify doesn’t plan on adding that sort of functionality just yet. The site’s differentiator is that it packages info from your feeds — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare — in a dynamic series of infographics. It provides a very edited overview of your life and it’s valuable for potential employers. Here’s my profile for an example. I’m pretty into it for a couple of reasons.
1. It’s not comprehensive. Unlike the upcoming generation of social media addicts, I’m still a bit squeamish about what personal info gets shared about me online. My Facebook account is private, because I don’t want to vigilantly monitor what photos I’m tagged in, and I don’t Tweet out my Foursquare check-ins. I had to undo Facebook integration with my Hypemarks and Glossi profiles, because I immediately felt exposed when I saw all the once-private photos and status updates they’d pulled.
But I was okay with the content Vizify pulled from my Facebook and Foursquare accounts, because it was extremely edited. Two of my most-liked photos were plucked out from hundreds over recent months, and they happen to be two I’m happy to share publicly — a jokey professional achievement and a relationship milestone. Nice work, Vizify.
Same with Foursquare. Rather than list every place I’ve checked into over the last week as my Glossi page unsettlingly does, Vizify merely aggregates my check-in data to give a broad overview of my activities. I frequent coffee shops, pubs, tech startups, rock clubs, and airports. Sounds about right, without sharing details of my exact location at any given moment. I’m not totally thrilled with the complain-y Tweet of mine that the service decided to highlight (likely because of several Retweets), but it’s easy enough to delete.
2. It really does give a solid overview of what a user is all about. Thanks to the LinkedIn tie-in, Vizify accounts shows a simple, easy-to-absorb backgrounder on one’s education and career history. But it’s better than a LinkedIn profile, because it includes snippets of personality, which just looks unprofessional on a LinkedIn profile or a resume.
And that’s where Vizify hopes to tap into a shift in the way hiring is done. Recruiters are now changing their criteria from finding a qualified candidate to finding a cultural fit, particularly when there is an excess of qualified candidates (anywhere but Silicon Valley, basically). Recruiters want to see evidence online that a person will fit in culturally with their organization, Vizify co-founder Todd Silverstein says.
“There is now the mentality that peoples’ social media profiles are too clean,” he says. “The balance is quietly shifting to where you have no choice but to engage and have an online identity because the absense of one, or one that’s a little too tidy or locked down, can be a disadvantage.”
That’s the company’s goal — to be the first impression for anyone tracking you down online. It’s editable. As a writer, I wish I could share more links to my stories, but that’s what a MuckRack account is for.
3. It doesn’t look like a personal version of Pinterest. The other three kinda have that look going on. Vizify is fun to flip through. That makes it more like About.me and I imagine the pages will be updated with fresh info less frequently and they’ll be less sticky as a result.
4. It doesn’t glorify how many Twitter or Facebook followers I have. We’re done believing “influencers” will save the world by now, right? As a job candidate, I’d hate to lose professional credibility just because I only recently joined Twitter and haven’t built up much of a Klout score.
Similar to Glossi, Vizify plans to offer a freemium model that charges for premium accounts, hosted accounts, and access to new designs. The company raised $1.2 million in January from a long list of angel investors.