Nuzzel, a service that helps users pick out the most popular items from their social media feeds, launched to the public last week.
The aggregating network made its debut in 2012, but until last week, it required an invitation to join. Now anyone can use the service, which is spearheaded by Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams.
Nuzzel users have the option of signing in with their Twitter or Facebook user name and password. The service then analyzes the feeds from those social networks and lets users know what their friends are chattering about.
Users can view a feed or a daily email displaying the stories that received the most number of mentions or tweets from their friends or those they follow, along with the commentary provided.
Users also can check out the feeds of high-profile Nuzzel users — such as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban or designer and entrepreneur Yves Behar — to see what their contacts were interested in throughout the day.
Quieting the Noise
The Nuzzel team says the service is designed to eliminate “social overload” and minimize the overwhelming feelings that can come when sorting through seemingly endless Twitter or Facebook feeds.
The effect is a highly personalized report. The focus isn’t so much on displaying what’s popular across the Web — it’s on cluing in users to what their particular contacts or friends of friends are finding and discussing online.
As social networks have become an established — and for some people, indispensable — part of daily life, the need for a service that cuts through the sludge is becoming essential, said Internet marketing expert Brian Carter.
“Noise is the biggest problem in social media,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We have too much fragmentation, in part because everyone has their own favorite network and because the services themselves are struggling to serve people the content they really want to see. Dissatisfaction with the news feed experience is at an all-time high.”
Nuzzel vs. the Rest of the Crowd
Nuzzel isn’t the first company to realize that there should be a service that tidies up the social space, said Jim Tobin, president of Ignite Social Media.
“Nuzzel faces a very crowded field,” he told TechNewsWorld. “There are many places to find content sorted by friends, experts or other groups. These aggregators often get buzz when they launch, but very few hang on. Sulia got a lot of buzz a couple months ago. Then Quibb. Facebook is even in this space with their new Paper app and its focus on news consumption.”
The service undoubtedly will have devoted fans, but it remains to be seen how popular it will be on a larger scale, Tobin added.
“At first glance, seeing the most popular news articles your friends are sharing has some value,” he said. “Whether it gets people to change their behavior and come back repeatedly is the question. I’m skeptical.”
Nuzzel is not yet the all-encompassing aggregator some people are waiting for, Carter said.
“I’d like to see them include Instagram, LinkedIn and Google Plus,” he noted.
“As far back as 2009, people suggested that Web 3.0 would be an aggregation and organization of Web 2.0,” he pointed out. “We still haven’t solved that problem yet.”