As we all try to cope with the increasingly fast-moving social web, curation services are set to become important tools. When we first looked at Curated.By a few weeks ago, it was a service designed to let you create and share collections of interesting Tweets. Until now it’s been in private beta but today, the service opens up to everyone to try and the California-based startup has rolled out a bunch of new features to coincide.
Firstly, Curated.By is no longer about Twitter – it’s about the whole Web. It’s possible to share bundles of links to just about anything. Tweets, blog posts, Wikipedia pages – anything with a URL can be added to a bundle and each will get a neat in-line preview including, if possible, an image.
Founder Bastian Lehmann says that to date they’ve seen particular interest from foodies collecting recipes and designers collecting examples of work. Now these groups won’t be limited to tweets, they can link straight to the source, as well as bundling in tweets and other comments on it from around the Web too. As is the convention these days, each item in a bundle can be ‘liked’ and commented on within the bundle’s page.
In order to make bundling easy, Curated.By is offering a bookmarklet and a Chrome extension that allow you to add to bundles as you browse. This is great for most Web content, but for tweets it gets a little more complicated, but only just. The old Bundler tool which allowed to you drag and drop tweets into a bundle right on Curated.By is gone – “Most people didn’t like it, it was too much work”, explains Lehmann). Now the easiest way of bundling tweets is via the Chrome extension which adds a ‘Bundle’ option to every tweet on Twitter’s website. If you’re using the bookmarklet, you’ll have to go to each tweet’s unique URL to add it to a bundle. This is a little counterintuitive, so hopefully extensions for Firefox and other browsers will be on their way soon.
Curated.By is also making a play for the corporate market. Lehmann says that the company has received plenty of interest from businesses wanting to create private bundles to be used in a corporate context. From today, companies can register their names with the service, with a full corporate service set to follow in a couple of weeks’ time. Another forthcoming features is the ability for groups of people to collaborate on bundles.
Perhaps the most obvious competitor to Curated.By is Storify, which offers a similar featureset. However, while Storify seems to be aiming at a journalistic use case, Lehmann says Curated.By is all about collecting and sharing themed content from around the web, whether that’s to track a news story, to collect your favourite photographs or to just collect pithy tweets about Saturday night TV.
The new version of Curated.By is open for all to try now here.