Content aggregation is nothing new and currently exists in many formats. Previously in the realm of Social media, people have looked to one or two platforms as a central location to digest information relevant to their lives. But as revenue earnings continue to drive Social networks, it is increasingly difficult to sift through the cluttered stream of ad-filled posts. Complicating the content aggregation issue is the trend of Social networks cutting out rival content from their feeds: Twitter is turning off Instagram photos and LinkedIn is turning off Twitter.
Entering this landscape, a new start up from California, USA have a solution with CHNL.it which displays relevant posts from across all of your Social channels.
Currently CHNL.it supports Social feeds from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Soundcloud, LinkedIn and Tumblr. The 10 man team has produced a very long road map with feeds from your RSS and Pinterest expected soon. Unlike, Facebook and Twitter, CHNL.it have chosen to monetize their site very early, bringing on board deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial to provide referral fees.
Also, unlike the Facebook and Twitter of today, CHNL.it allow users to opt in to see the deals. Currently Groupon deals are US only but the LivingSocial feed works for all users if it’s already available in the user’s region. There is currently no option to add multiple accounts from the same Social platform.
The first thing you notice when going in to the platform is the clean layout design. Its Pinterest style layout displays a mix of content from all of your feeds like a filtered Hootsuite page. The biggest flaw at this stage is that if, like me, you use one platform a lot more than others, then CHNL.it tends to display content almost exclusively from that platform. A great feature would be to have some form of sliding scale in the algorithm which would allow users to decide which platforms are more important to them.
Luckily for me there are a few drop-down menus that allow users to filter content by type and by recency which adds additional depth to the CHNL.it platform.
There is a feature to post content from a website to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn channels from the platform. This could take off if they create browser extensions and plugins to allow users to post more easily. Scheduling and calendar features would also be great additions in the future.
One last feature of the site is the email digest of everything you may have missed for that day, week or fortnight. Within just a few day’s use, CHNL.it has become one of my favourite “At a glance” platforms for highly-shared content. Where the platform may suffer is in failing to gain a large enough audience to try it out in the first place. As it is effectively a content viewer, you still have to go back to the initial Social network to fulfill most functions. CHNL.it cannot attempt to replicate too many Social network functions or they will have their feed cut off. It’s a tough conundrum, but they appear to be headed in the right direction for now.