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Goodbye facebook, hello social aggregator?

Written By: langdon on July 26, 2009 No Comment

Goodbye facebook, hello social aggregator?

socialthingJust as marketers are finally figuring out what the heck facebook is and why they should be embracing the platform as a way of reaching & engaging their customers and potential customers, there is a new trend developing that may impact facebook and other social mediums…

Enter social aggregators.

Aggregators won’t replace facebook – but much like RSS feeds have supplemented users visting websites directly, social aggregator services could mean marketers looking to reach and engage people through social media sites like facebook will find a smaller direct audience to engage with.

I’ve signed up with socialthing and others are raving about feedfriend. Both do about the same thing – they take updates from all your social media sites like flickr, facebook, twitter, yelplinkedin and stream them as one interface in something called a “lifestream.”

The idea is great – instead of checking for updates on multiple sites, you can get them all at once – much like how i use Netvibes or Protopage to aggregate all my RSS feeds.

Personally I get everything I need from Netvibes. 

I can add twitter or facebook status updates to Netvibes… and i don’t really care for the extra features social aggregators include such as comments on the different feeds. When I also consider the fact that most of my friends aren’t as geeked out as I am on ‘web 2.0′, it makes even less sense. Just getting my friends on facebook was a monumental task.

Having said that, the mobile interface for Socialthing is a thing of beauty.

They also have an optimized interface for the iphone which makes checking out lifestreams on the go a pleasant experience.

I have a hard enough time keeping up with my RSS feeds (270 currently) – I’m not sure I have enough time (or care enough) to follow the lifestream of every person i know. Having said that, it could be really useful if you are following a few choice people…

How can marketers get in on this?

Websites got around a similar issue when RSS feeds became popular by not including all the content in the feed – so users who liked the lead content were driven back to the site… where sponsored ads could be displayed in all their glory.

One suggestion – build your own branded social aggregator…. and include your own relevant content as one of the feeds.

I could see this working really well for Automotive, Financial, Pharma, Retail… well pretty much any brand looking to participate in & influence a person’s lifestream.

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