Being bounced into going public with your product by a Facebook rival may not seem like the most propitious of starts, but social startup Swipp is making a brave fist of it.
Facebook has just launched a similar product called “Graph Search”, a move which prompted the Mountain View-based startup to roll out its own – possibly more attractive – alternative.
An open network
Content managers, social media managers and community managers are probably now feeling impatient to find what Swipp has to offer. Put in a nutshell, Swipp is poised to become the first company to prove that a more open social network is commercially viable. Instead of keeping data locked up a la Facebook, its platform allows it to be shared back with users – a feature that’s likely to go down well with the growing armies of businesses and consumers who aren’t happy sharing huge amounts of data with the social leviathan.
Swipp CEO Dan Thorston, an erstwhile creative director at Apple, said:
“The larger the company we talk to about Swipp, the more fascinating it is to them. They have a party between them and their customer and it’s not tenable.”
He describes Swipp as a new type of social intelligence platform: “[A]nd on that platform we’ve built a new class of social intelligence apps. What we have with Swipp is a fundamentally new approach to merging data types, and create what we think of as a new social data category.”
Swipp’s three prongs
A startup’s three-pronged approach includes commercial-focused software, consumer-focused apps, and a platform that permits integration with other products via a public API. All have the same goal: capturing consumer opinion on anything on the Net.
The consumer app invites users to give ratings and comments on topics or items in realtime using a 5 point scale, while the business component features apps tailored to particular events or verticals like the Super Bowl. This permits talk about the players, performers and ads while the event is on via an interactive second screen, but any business or brand could have a similar app built. The startup will make money by selling tailor-made data analytics to these firms.
All of which suggests that the consumer-focused web and iPhone apps it’s just launched are just the tip of a large Swipp iceberg.