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Social Startups: Updates from the Startups We Covered in 2013
Posted on January 2nd 2014
In 2013, we profiled several of the newest and most innovative social companies. Today, with social business ever changing, a look at what some of them have been up to since we last wrote about them.
Just in case you missed any—and there were several—we've also listed all of the pertinent details to the social startups we covered, as well as what they are looking forward to in 2014.
What they do: Yummly is the leading digital kitchen and recipe search platform that provides access to more than 1 million recipes tailored to user preferences, including individual ingredient, diet, allergy, nutrition, taste, and technique.
Headquarters: Silicon Valley
CEO: Dave Feller
Why we covered them: We wanted to find out how the site is leading the way in social discovery of home-cooked food. Read the social startup profile we published here.
Update: Yummly plans to expand its mobile presence in 2014.
What Triple Lift does: Triple Lift is the native advertising solution for the visual web. The company powers beautiful, integrated advertising by leveraging brand's best images and turning them into ads that match the unique look and feel of each site.
Headquarters: New York City
CEO: Eric Berry
Why we covered them: Consumer dissatisfaction with obtrusive ads is increasing and ad-blocking software installations are on the rise. So we shared about this platform that creates ads to fit seamlessly into content. Read the full social startup profile here.
Update: The native ads can now be socially shared.
What they do: HipLogiq officially began in October 2012 as Social Compass, an enterprise solution for social media marketing. Co-founders Adam Root, Lindsey Madison, and Bernard Perrine designed SocialCompass to help companies target and engage customers over social media in a meaningful, results-driven way. SocialCentiv – launched in March 2013 – works similarly for small to medium businesses, but with a web-based, do-it-yourself solution. During the design of SocialCentiv, leadership decided it was time to evolve the company into an idea factory that produces the most innovative, successful applications in their market space. As a result, HipLogiq also launched in March 2013.
CEO: Bernie Perrine
Why we covered Hiplogiq: We wanted to share the new Twitter engagement tool on the market that helps marketing teams increase their hit rate with traditional direct mail campaigns. Read the full story here.
Update: SocialCompass is now available as a licensed, white-label solution for advertising, PR, social media, or marketing agencies to use for their clients, or for big brands to integrate into their internal strategies.
What they do: Nexgate provides cloud-based brand protection and compliance for enterprise social media accounts. Its patent-pending technology seamlessly integrates with the leading social media platforms and applications to find and audit brand-affiliated accounts, control connected applications, detect and remediate compliance risks, archive communications, and detect fraud and account hacking.
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
CEO: Devin Redmond
Why we covered them: With all the phishing hacks and company blunders in the news, we wanted to learn how Nexgate bridges the social media security gap for businesses. Read our social startup profile about Nexgate here.
Update: Hackers continue to target big brands in social media at an alarming rate. Nexgate has released a set of capabilities that identify, alert, and remediate account hacks, including locking affected accounts down so their brand, messaging, and followers can't be hijacked. The company has also released a global spam block list, which automatically stops known spammers from posting to brand-owned social accounts secured with Nexgate.
What they do: Collective Bias is a social shopper media company that weaves organic social content into engaging, real-life stories to create millions of impressions leading to increased share of voice, SEO, and ultimately sales for brands and retailers.
Headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas
CEO: Bill Sussman
Why we covered them: We wanted to share how Collective Bias helps bring relevant, organic content by bloggers together with brands and retailers. Read all about it here.
Update: 2013 was another year of incredible growth for Collective Bias; the company has a 108 percent compounded annual growth rate for revenue over the past four years. It increased the number of advertisers by more than 70 percent and opened new offices in Chicago and New York City. Another driver in the company’s growth is its strong blogger community, which doubled in members while still maintaining the selectivity and high standards Collective Bias is known for. Additionally, the company increased representation amongst Latinos, men, millennials, and fashion and beauty bloggers.
Collective Bias was recognized by a number of awards in 2013 and successfully launched its first user conference, SoFabCon, which drew more than 300 attendees. In early 2014, Collective Bias will launch several exciting developments, including an enhanced SoFab University, a unique loyalty program, and a new Twitter platform for brands.
What they do: The social analytics platform pulls the most relevant information from web and social conversations, processes it to analyze it, and delivers insights.
CEO: Gianandrea Facchini
Why we covered Buzzdetector: Since sales no longer come from a linear model but from conversation, and ROI is no longer just return on investment, we wanted to find out how Buzzdetector measures these new ROI goals. The social startup profile is here.
What's changed since: Buzzdetector’s two new keywords for 2014 are visualize and convergence. This is why they have a new mantra: We listen for words, we visualize concepts, and we enlighten meanings. It’s also why they partnered in 2013 with two agencies to achieve these goals.
Buzzdetector recently signed an agreement with Accurat the recent winner of the 2013 Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards. The agency researches and analyzes data and context, and designs visual tools and narratives. They are working together to dress Buzzdetector’s econometric model, PHTool, to deliver web and social media listening results in an innovative and stunning way, and to catch stakeholder attention while highlighting correlations and key facts.
The other agency Buzzdetector signed an agreement with is Bright.ly, the first Italian independent agency, specialized in converging digital communication, including TV, web, and mobile. The common goal is to turn web and social media listening into a strategic tool and to provide further accountability to social media activity.
What they do: Tweet Binder analyzes and organizes Twitter information on any topic. Its free version sorts up to 2,000 tweets into endless categories, or binders, as far as the Twitter API allows for a free service (six days). It also identifies the main #hashtag contributors. The PRO version can track hashtags and terms in real time with no limitations.
Headquarters: New York and Spain
CEO: Javier Abrego
Why we covered them: We wanted to learn about the Twitter analytics tool that quickly and efficiently generates deep analytics of Twitter users based on a variety of different filters, such as hashtags, keywords, photos, text-only tweets, check-ins, and retweets for marketing, media and event companies. Check out the details in our social startup story.
What's changed since: In October 2013, they launched a PRO version. Tweet Binder has a complete free version, but the PRO version lets clients go deeper into the Twitter analytics world. The company also started looking for investors so they can add to their team to keep up with the growth of new users. In 2014, Tweet Binder plans to open a new office in Singapore.
What they do: VigLink takes the pain out of monetization for publishers and bloggers whether it’s on a website, app, or social network.
Headquarters: San Francisco
CEO: Oliver Roup
Why we covered them: “Monetization—turning a blog into a business—is difficult. We wanted to find out how the startup hooks web publishers and bloggers up with affiliate advertising programs. Read more about it here.
Update: VigLink can now swap out links for more lucrative alternatives. Many retailers often sell the same product, and VigLink now lets those retailers compete for the click, creating a dynamic market for in-content links and driving more revenue for bloggers. Meanwhile, the links remain relevant and readers go where they expect.
What they do: The time management and productivity tracking software runs securely in the background on your computer and mobile devices. It tracks times spent on applications and websites, so you can see where you spend your time each day. Then it gives detailed reports and data based on your activity.
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington
CEO: Joe Hruska
Why we covered them: We're often asking ourselves where the time went? In the computer age, it’s not easy to account for those lost minutes from the previous day. That’s why we were interested in learning more about the time management and productivity tracking software. Read more here if you can find the time.
Update: Since we covered Rescue Time, they launched a new version of their website in early October. The new version of the website simplifies the dashboard and presents more useful information to the user than before. The website also fully supports today’s mobile devices and tablets. You can read the details in these blog posts: http://blog.rescuetime.com/2013/11/12/rescuetime-new-and-improved-features/ and http://blog.rescuetime.com/2013/10/03/introducing-the-new-rescuetime/
What they do: Twoodo helps you, your team, and your clients organize anything and everything with simple, Twitter-like tags to create and manage tasks, messages, calendar events, and notes from the same place. Actionable questions and votes are also integrated directly into the conversation thread. The command box updates all of this automatically from one box.
Headquarters: Global remote team located in Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Hong Kong
CEO: Denis Duvauchelle
Why we covered them: We wanted to learn about the social collaboration tool that replaces email trails, meetings, files, and to-do lists for small teams and groups. Read our story here.
Update: A lot has changed with Twoodo since we covered them last year. Users of the platform can now communicate with non-users by simply including their email address in a post. They also have an iPhone and basic Android app. Twoodo is now backed by productivity experts. They also have a new design inspired from user feedback. There’s workflow management with saved searches. Plus, the platform is integrated with Skype (easily continue the conversation vocally using Skype) and Dropbox.
What they do: Oktopost is the first solution to establish the ROI of social media for B2B companies, bridging the gap between social media and lead generation.
CEO: Daniel Kushner
Why we covered them: It takes research, hard work and dedication to consistently churn out high-quality content that brings leads and sales. And there are a variety of tools to help your content marketing efforts. There’s no shortcut to creating great content, but we wanted to catch up with Oktopost to learn how they make the distribution and measurement of the content simple and insightful. Join us here to learn, too.
What's changed since: Oktopost has many changes to share since we last caught up with them.They just launched the Oktopost Browser Plugin for Chrome and Firefox, as well as a Bookmarklet for all other browsers. With the Oktopost add-on, users can automatically post content on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter using their Oktopost accounts, directly through the browser. Any time a user would like to share a webpage you're viewing, they can just click the bookmarklet button and Oktopost will "capture" the link for them as part of a new message. Users can post the message as part of one of the existing campaigns they've set up, and can track the analytics through their accounts, as if it was posted through the Oktopost dashboard.
The new LinkedIn Power Search function allows Oktopost users to easily manage their entire company's LinkedIn discussion groups, maximizing reach under the 50-group limit set by LinkedIn. With this new feature, marketers can easily find the most relevant and active groups, and join/leave any group directly from the Oktopost platform for any social profile. Search results for groups can be filtered by: member Count, number of new members, number of discussions, and number of comments.
Autoposter is one of the most powerful new tools provided by the Oktopost platform. This feature lets users distribute content over a scheduled period of time across all of their social networks, social profiles, and discussion groups. Users can also access any existing messages they have posted (all of them are saved in the Message Assets section), and choose the specific date, time, and even day of the week they'd like their posts to appear. In addition, if posting to multiple LinkedIn Groups, Autoposter has a "staggering dial," which evenly spreads posts across the time period chosen, based on an algorithm they developed.
Oktopost recently launched Twitpic Functionality, which lets users upload pictures to Twitter using the Oktopost platform.
Other significant updates are that Oktopost raised $800,000 in seed-round funding. The full press release is available here.
Additionally, the company launched the “Oktopost Loves Startups Campaign” in December, which offers the Oktopost platform to qualified, pre-funded startups for free (less than $500,000 in funding and earn below USD $1 million in annual revenue).
Startups can register here: http://www.oktopost.com/pages/startups
Plans for 2014 include devoting significantly more attention to B2B marketing in terms of social engagement, although its key focus will still include being a large-scale content distribution solution across multiple social networks.
What they do: If you’re skilled at video editing, the video creation platform speeds the process for you. And if you’re new to video creation, it helps you add a layer of polish to your homemade movies. The app’s automatic video editing solutions allow you to quickly and easily create your own high-quality sales, marketing, and communications videos in real-time from your desktop, tablet, or mobile device. So whether you are a major event planning company, small business or student, you can create more videos and communicate your stories visually.
Headquarters: New York
CEO: Matt Singer
Why we covered them: From huge media brands to small businesses, most are not able to easily create enough of their own video to fully benefit from this power. We caught up with Videolicious to learn how the platform enables anyone to create sophisticated video productions automatically in seconds. Here’s the social startup profile on Videolicious.
Update: In addition to signing up tens of thousands of new professional users, Videolicious has added the ability for its enterprise customers to import unlimited sound bites and weave them together with unlimited illustrative shots to create more sophisticated videos, from instructional videos to person-on-the-street interviews, to multi-interview customer testimonials. The Videolicious team has grown to include more video experts to help customers strategize around exactly what videos to create and how to create them to grow their business.
What they do: WayWay is a local restaurant and nightlife recommendation app that quickly and efficiently ranks places according to their popularity on social media.
Headquarters: New York
CEO: Thomas Repelski
Why we covered them: When we’re out and about, hungry, and looking for a place to eat, the last we want to do is read through reviews that are long and possibly outdated. How about you? Our full social startups profile about WayWay explains how WayWay helps.
Update: WayWay recently launched their version 2.0 on the Apple App Store. The new version has better performance, a revamped design, and new features, including being able to discover the most popular places through hashtags.
What they do: Haiku Deck makes it simple to turn any content into beautiful and fun presentations, sans zero design talent. The app lets you choose from 16 themes that apply the same fonts, image filters, and color palette throughout the deck. After you enter a few words in Haiku Deck, it combs through 40MM+ free creative commons license images to help you find the perfect photo to match your idea. You can also upload your own photos if you wish. Once complete, you can view it on your iPad, embed it on a website, or share the link. Haiku Decks can be viewed on any device.
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington
CEO: Adam Tratt
Why we covered them: Part of content marketing is transforming one item into many others, such as turning a news release into a blog post, podcast and Pinterest pin. We wanted to find out how the free presentation platform Haiku Deck makes it simple to turn any content into beautiful and fun presentations even if you lack design skills. Read our profile about Haiku Deck.
Update: In addition to their award-winning iPad app, Haiku Deck just launched the beta of its web app, which lets you create Haiku Decks right from within a web-browser (like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or IE) from the comfort of your desktop or laptop computer. To gain access, visit www.haikudeck.com and click "NEW DECK."
What they do: Give.it set out to change the face of online gifting by bringing an easy gift-giving solution to merchants themselves. By embedding the Give.it button on their shops, web stores are able to offer an easy and engaging gift-giving solution for their customers, and gain social media exposure for their products along the way.
Headquarters: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
CEO: Erwin van Kralingen
Why we covered them: We wanted to share about Give.it’s newly released embeddable Give.it button, which brought an innovative social gifting app to the e-commerce landscape. Learn more about Give.it in our social startups profile about them.
What's changed since: Give.it now has an official partnership with SEOshop (the fastest growing e-commerce platform in Europe). It has been extremely well received among SEOshop merchants, so much so that it's currently a runner up for SEOshop's App of the Year Award.
What they do: BlogHer is the largest community of women who blog: reaching 92 million through blogs and social media each month. BlogHer is a community and media company created in partnership with women in social media. Engaged, influential and info-savvy, these women come to BlogHer to seek and share advice, opinions and recommendations. BlogHer hosts the world’s largest conference for women in social media, a publishing network with 3,000 blogs, and is the Web’s leading guide to the hottest news and trends among women in social media.
Headquarters: Belmont, CA
CEO: Founders: Lisa Stone (CEO), Elisa Camahort Page (COO), Jory Des Jardins (President, Strategic Alliances)
Why we covered them: We wanted to learn how BlogHer has helped content creators and influencers monetize their reach and their work to the tune of $25 million dollars paid to 5,000 network members over the past four years. Read the full social startups profile.
Update: BlogHer now reaches 100MM a month, and has expanded its efforts to help members monetize their social platforms beyond the blog...particularly Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. At the same time, they’re focused on developing their proprietary back-end campaign management and data display tools into products that serve the customers and community members in real time. All while managing an ever-increasing shift to mobile consumption and producing BlogHer’s 10th Anniversary Conference in Silicon Valley next summer.
What they do: With the free platform, you can find all your gaming friends no matter the platform, see what your friends are playing in real time across your favorite platforms, chat with them, broadcast your game play live to the world, and earn rewards while doing so. You can even browse the web without leaving your games while using Raptr.
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA
CEO: Dennis "Thresh" Fong
Why we covered them: In today’s connected world, there seems to be a social network for everyone and everything. And we wanted to find out about the social network for people who like to play and discover games. Read the details in our social startups profile.
What's changed since: Raptr and tech giant AMD partnered to build the AMD Gaming Evolved app and deliver the best possible gaming experience for PC gamers. The app combines Raptr’s in-game community tools with optimized game settings tailored to each player’s rig, based on crowdsourced performance data from real users. Raptr’s Rewards program is getting an update as well, and has already rewarded users with more than $250,000 in free stuff in Q4 alone, just for using the app and being part of the AMD community.
What they do: Identifies influential college students through the Sumpto Score; then helps introduce the brand to their network via credible, word-of-mouth recommendations; and rewards college students for being themselves and part of the hard-to-reach demographic brands want to connect with.
Headquarters: New York
CEO: Ben Kosinski
Why we covered them: We wanted to get to know the social startup that measures the social influence of college students and connects relevant companies with their community of college influencers. Get to know them with us here.
Update: New brand partners since we covered Sumpto include Red Bull, JackThreads, Frank & Oak, and Harding-Lane. In 2014, Sumpto will be partnering with Office Depot & Fair Trade. Currently, they have 34,000 influencers in 1,080 schools across the nation and in 108 different Greek chapters—two times as much as when we published the profile on them.
We’re looking forward to the second year of the social startups column and wish you all the best in 2014 and beyond.
Social Startups, an exclusive column for Social Media Today by Shay Moser, covers a wide variety of social startups—from apps that make sense of opinions to platforms that help publish and gather your best content. Tell us what profiles you'd like to read about on Social Media Today’s Social Startups column or share your social startup story. Contact Shay via Twitter at: @ShayMoser