Have you ever thought that life would be easier if you could take a metaphorical sweeping brush to your feeds, remove the rubbish and reveal the meaningful news? EverySignal makes that possible.
The endless flow of data that passes through your social streams means that occasionally important nuggets of information are swamped by the frivolous and the trivial. Start-up EverySignal promises to help sort through the unimportant and reveal the hidden gems.
The simple premise of the company demonstrates that there are still cute ideas to be had in the social media sphere and plenty of opportunity for those looking for social media jobs.
EverySignal also boasts a pedigree. Based in Santa Monica, the firm launched from the Science incubator, which itself was founded in 2011 by former MySpace CEO Mike Jones and Color co-founder Peter Pham.
EverySignal was started by self-confessed non-Facebook addict Derek Merrill who didn’t have time for friend or follower cull, but wanted to make sure he didn’t miss the vital information in his feeds. He decided to devise a way to help people sort through the 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook each month and find the information that’s relevant to them.
Merrill explains: “I never lived inside Facebook and because of that, I really was missing most of the things happening, or if I found out, I was the last person to know.
“From my point of view, this is bringing me back into [social media] in a natural way. I don’t really care about a picture of someone’s burrito, but I do care when someone starts a business, or when you go on an exotic vacation, or when your dad is hospitalized.”
How Does it Work?
EverySignal, which launched just last week out of Santa Monica, works by aggregating data and compiling those posts that contain keywords set by the user, or that fall into pre-set categories such as birthdays, job changes, engagements and pregnancies that are again chosen by the user. The service uses natural language processing to scan posts and conversations for relevant topics and keywords and will squeeze all relevant updates into one neat, daily email alert.
Users simply link up their social media accounts and by using this tidy service means they’ll never miss an anniversary, a birthday, a promotion or a house move again.
So What’s New?
Of course social media platforms have made their own attempts to categorize content and customise notifications, albeit with limited success.
LinkedIn notifies users when their connections update their employment status, while Facebook settings can be adjusted to alert users of birthdays and other events, but where EverySignal is different is the degree to which the notifications can be customized and the brevity with which their delivered.
What’s more, the company have opted to deliver their notifications in a way that feels cozy and familiar and doesn’t overwhelm users as this would defeat the object. Instead, subscribers to the free service are sent an email once a day, with all of their relevant notifications set out like a social media feed. The team worked hard to make sure the once-a-day alert was easy to use and felt comfortable.
“It’s a tough problem,” Merrill said. “If you think about this from an engineering perspective, every user’s interface is different. That has been an enormous challenge. … We decided; let’s just play off normal user familiarity. We’re trying our best to make things feel comfortable. We don’t want to copy the Facebook feed, but that’s what people feel familiar with.”
The gamble paid off and the company have recorded 70% of all daily digests as opened.
Can it Monetize?
With such a simple idea, the future looks bright for EverySignal and it also involves making commercial use of the social data it handles, perhaps by making it available to power users, agencies, brands and businesses – all for a tidy sum, naturally. As the company grows, so too will the opportunities for people looking for jobs in the social media sector.
Merrill continued: “We have potential to build a very large business by offering a free product everyone can enjoy and then offering professional features we can charge for … things like getting more real-time updates through a mobile applications or SMS alerts, or access to more information within a network.”