UK-based opinion-aggregating, recommendation platform Top10 has rolled out a major update to its website, with a view towards helping users share and discover the best music, films, products and everything in between. Oh, and it seems that Spotify has played a role in its latest Web-based incarnation.
Just to give a little background to Top10, when Spotify rolled out its app platform late last year, the individual apps on offer at launch were broadly skimmed over in terms of coverage, besides the bigger names such as The Guardian and Last.fm. But one of those was in fact Top10, a London company that creates value by by pooling huge amounts of opinion data.
Top10 is built around users submitting their top 10 lists for anything – from action movies to Simpsons characters – and over time, a cumulative, definitive top 10 combining all users’ choices is created. And as we wrote last year, Top 10’s Spotify app takes this concept and turns it into an intriguing music discovery vehicle.
Now, Top10’s Web portal is following in a similar vein to the Spotify app, which has seen more than a million music recommendations since January.
Top10 version 2.0
Users are able to share their top recommendations on any topic by clicking the #1 button. So, assuming you’re perusing the top 10 Android smartphones, you can weigh in and cast your vote too:
This means that users can quickly build personalized profiles of the things they love, while simultaneously contributing to Top10’s recommendation engine. All this data is fed in to the myriad of Top10 lists covering just about every topic you could imagine.
Where relevant, product recommendations will link to online stores so people can easily make an informed purchase.
You can also click through on a particular item and see what other lists it features in – and who voted for them. But herein lies a minor flaw – for example, the Samsung Galaxy S2 ranks as the top Android smartphone, but it only ranks in eleventh spot in the best mobile phones list…behind other Android phones.
It would be good if it could somehow pass data between lists to create a more holistic synopsis of opinions.
“Item rankings in a specific Top10 don’t take into account the position in other topics at this point,” confirms co-founder and CEO Tom Leathes. “We are working on ways to make the ranking algorithms smarter and more personalized as we get more data in the system.”
The Facebook factor
Also, while you can browse lists without signing in, you need to log-in to properly interact and cast your own votes. With the latest roll out, you need to use your Facebook credentials to log-in which won’t be popular with everyone, though as an inherently social platform it’s understandable why Top10 wants to make Facebook mandatory.
Indeed, Spotify itself requires that all new registrants have a Facebook account – but not in Germany – so this isn’t entirely surprising. Though an additional Twitter option would be a welcome option with Top10, as a lot of people like to keep their Facebook profiles private – something, we’re told, will be coming in due course.
“We’re using Facebook only as the log-in method to start with,” says Leathes. “This is because accessing users’ Facebook Likes allows us to personalise the service for them, and give them a much more targeted experience. And sharing “#1s” with friends is a key part of the user journey, so this needs to be a seamless experience.”
Top10 offers a really fun way to explore knowledge and opinions though – there is something inherently appealing about top 10 lists that resonate across the board. With the latest version, you can view individual user profile pages, view a Top 10 topic, or browse activity on a topic – simply hit the ‘Explore’ button to see activity in any category:
Oh, and it also integrates directly with Spotify – you can hit the ‘Play in Spotify’ button to play the top 10 songs of a particular artist, for example Neil Young.
It’s also worth noting here that Top10 has been built as a responsive HTML5 app – so you’re well catered for if you want to access it on your mobile phone or tablet, but you won’t have a native version to download. This is no bad thing though.
Top10 launched in September 2011 after raising $3.5m in funding from investors including Accel Partners, Founder Collective and Shakil Khan, with the goal to build the “ultimate socially-powered discovery platform”.
“We’ve found that while everyone wants to find others’ recommendations online, from the best Daft Punk tracks to the top 10 things to do in Rome, encouraging people to actively contribute their opinions requires a really quick, fun and easy-to-use interface,” says Leathes. “Our new platform offers just that. Over 20% of our monthly Spotify app users return to Top10 every day to discover and share the best music. We’re now bringing this addictive experience to an infinite number of topics, and to any device.”