dscover.me from Discovery Labs Inc. is an online service that turns your clickstreams – and those of your friends – into conversations.
Just entering private beta on the Google Chrome browser, dscover.me makes the browsing experience social in an automated fashion.
Will you want to share your web surfing history with your friends?
As part of the registration process, users create a customized “whitelist” of sites they are comfortable sharing which ensures only the web pages of their choosing are shared, not entire browsing histories. After setting up their account, users can follow friends and connections simply by doing what they normally do – clicking.
“The problem is that sharing web pages takes time and effort, and people often don’t want to overwhelm their friends’ inboxes and social streams, so on average they share less than 0.01% of what they actually view online,” said Paul Jones, Co-Founder of dscover.me. “With dscover.me, we’ve created an effortless way for people to show their friends and followers what they are checking out online right now – in real-time. Our vision is to provide a fun and secure platform for consumers to share.”
dscover.me works across the entire web, allowing users to tap into the wisdom of the people they trust, and find new people with similar interests, to discover new sites, articles, products, restaurants, deals and more. There are two discovery lists. One is “Twitter-like” and includes all dscover.me users who are open to share. The other is limited to the user’s own network of connections.
Whereas Bing has created a personalized experience by leveraging the likes, interests, and shares of your social graph, we take this a step further by adding a passive stream of social input from users – what they are clicking on. Imagine going to YouTube and seeing a small popup of the videos your friends “watched” or clicking on an article on CNN and seeing a small message showing you which of your other friends also “read” that article. That is the direction we are heading over the next few months and because we are built into the browser, we can do this across any site. We believe that what your friends click on is valuable and complimentary to what your friends “liked” and “shared” and will coexist.
Nevertheless, we recognize the serious privacy implications of collecting and sharing information about what your friends clicked on, which is why we put in place multiple layers of privacy protection. For example, we only collect detailed data from sites which a user “whitelists,” i.e., is comfortable sharing information from. We also allow the user to remove posts from the system and at any time he may modify his whitelist thereby removing his history of clicks from a particular site. We put the user in control over what gets collected and shared and what does not.
During this beta phase, the application has limitations. Users can publish their surfing activity, but cannot indicate whether they liked or valued what they saw – a promote button is in the works, according to Jones. He told me that a blacklist is being developed to exclude sites such as Gmail, Facebook and financial sites from being whitelisted to protect privacy. Future features are likely to include adding comments to activity that gets posted.
The company is founded and backed by veterans of companies such as Sony, Yahoo!, and Meebo. dscover.me is located in New York, NY with additional offices in San Francisco. Revenue may come from content-related coupons, sponsorships and affiliate links.