Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Everyone loves lists, right? There’s lists for things you need to do, cities you’ve visited this year, movies you’ve watched and just about everything else. Indeed, lists bring order to our lives, and can be fun too, believe it or not.
With that in mind, Listly has been setting out its stall to make lists, well, even more interesting. With Listly, even if you’re not a content creator, you can still interact with other people’s lists that they create on the site. And as we’ve written previously, Listly makes curating lists of things simple and interactive for publishers.
One year on from our initial coverage, Listly is rolling out an all-new version of its list-building platform, and there are some significant changes to note.
Listly goes mobile and gets more social
Rather than launching native mobile apps, Listly’s latest incarnation adopts a more responsive design approach, meaning that it has been reworked to adapt itself to multiple form factors through the good old-fashioned browser.
Furthermore, one of the more interesting features of Listly of yore, was the ability to embed lists on your site via simple embed code. With the latest version, embedding has also been given a dose of responsiveness, meaning you can embed a list anywhere and it will be resized and displayed nicely.
Listly also now supports separate layout options (on Listly itself and embeds). Short layout is minimal, and helps get lists in smaller spaces, while full layout is more detailed – which may work better for playlists and research lists, for example. Gallery layout, on the other hand, is geared towards images, playlists, and people-based lists.
In terms of the app’s performance, well, the good folks at Listly have reworked the behind-the-scenes aspect too, to ensure optimal performance. Indeed, to cater for particularly large lists, Listly now ‘lazy loads’ the data dynamically as a user scrolls – this essentially increases the speed and reduces any lag, which is key to lists that may draw on more than 1,000 items.
Similarly, Listly has also now launched a new WordPress plugin, so that embedded lists can be cached directly on WordPress. The upshot of this is that lists can handle much larger volumes of traffic without relying on Listly’s servers for each request. It’s all about failsafe embeds, baby.
Users can also now share a whole list or just an item via a URL. And, in what is an obvious integration, Listly now taps Facebook OpenGraph, which means that engagement is now amplified through sharing with the Facebook masses.
Listly goes premium
Listly has tackled the perennial monetization problem by launching a new premium service, aimed squarely at brands and publishers.
As part of this service, users can create create and share draft lists with a specific group of people, before the list is actually published. Why would you want to do that, you ask? Well, for market research purposes for starters, as this enables a list to be kept ‘private’, with permission granted only to those the publishers wish to see it.
Additionally, with premium there’s featured content which gives publishers the ability to feature selected or random items on their lists – it’s a little like Promoted Tweets, and it helps them showcase specific content they wish to highlight.
With this latest version, a new simpler moderation queue system has been rolled out, offering content-segregation that’s already been approved, and content that’s suggested by other users. With the premium version, the moderation queue can be hidden from their audience until they are approved. It also lets users enable/disable user contribution at a more granular level, including ‘item add’, ‘voting’ and ‘comments’, which can be turned on and off to coincide with marketing events, for example.
It’s also worth noting here that there are no ads inside lists for premium Users.
So, some big changes for sure, and we expect to hear a lot more buzz around Listly in the months that follow.
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock
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