Ever since I first heard about the Locker Project and Singly, I’ve been anxiously waiting to see what apps would be built on the platform, knowing that a lifestreaming service would surely be created. Well it’s been over a year since the original announcement and the wait is now over with the public release of Showw.me.
First a quick summary of what Singly is to help frame some of the underlying architecture for Showw.me. Singly offers an API that handles the authentication, and ability to import and export data to multiple social networks. It also allows for interacting with that data so in the case of Facebook you can like and comment on updates that are fed back through the API. Developing authentication and communicating with individual services is something that many startups build on their own which can take several months to develop. Singly’s API takes care of this hassle and allows a startup to focus on the value add they provide by connecting to social services.
Showw.me has many of the features you’ve come to expect from a Lifestreaming service along with some nice additions. As is always the case you begin by adding as many of the supported services that you want. As of this writing they currently support Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Tumblr, Linkedin and Soundcloud. After the conclusion of your oAuth fest you will be able to visit your personal page that will be filled with all your social content goodness. There are several unique features for the individual stream items. Standard embedding of media within the stream items is there, but there’s also added bonuses depending on the item. For instance a link to a blog post shared on Twitter will include an image, title and excerpt. A Foursquare item will show their icon location type identifier along with the address of the location. Another nice features is the ability to hide duplicate content. I sometimes selectively send updates from Instagram or Path to multiple social sites. This allows you to manually remove those duplicate items from appearing. I’ve also read that Singly has some built in de-duplication which could help this issue in the future.
So far these are some pretty standard Lifestreaming features but then Showw.me takes a few new approaches. Interacting with the stream items are fed back the source services. So instead of favoriting or commenting on items whereby those interactions live as distinct data within the Showw.me service, those interactions get published back to Facebook, Twitter or any other service you connect. Currently this only works for Facebook and Twitter but they will be adding support for more services soon.
But Showw.me doesn’t stop at just creating your own Lifestream. Many services limit themselves by building a new social graph within their system along with new content generated on top of it. While Showw.me offers an additional follower layer whereby you can “favorite” other profiles, it’s not bound by it. That functionality always suffers from the network effect because it requires your friends to join the service before it becomes beneficial. That’s not the case with Showw.me as they also offer what they call a “unified feed”. This pulls in all the content your friends are sharing on the services you connect to Showw.me. This is very cool because the service then becomes more of a unified streams dashboard. Also as mentioned all of your interactions go back to the source service.
showw.me was appropriately described as a meta-network yesterday, the abstraction of using one social platform.
— Showw Me (@ShowwMeapp) July 28, 2012
At that point the Showw.me unified feed may seem more akin to services like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. But those services are designed more as publishing systems, whereas Showw.me aims to provide much more visual features and functionality with regards to consuming the content. And this is on top of creating your personal Lifestreaming profile as well. The ability to filter content by service or data type is also something I really like. You can filter your Lifestream by News (links), photos, videos, statuses, or checkins. Even better is that you can filter the unified stream by all of these data types as well as by service.
I spoke to Showw.me co-founder Noah Lucas. He told me that the idea for the service came before they were familiar with Singly but it has provided them some great benefits so they can focus more on what they want to build. He told me that “in short it will be a follow-model social service that sits on top your existing services.” He went on to say that “While at first glance it may look similar to glossi, overblog, and Rebelmouse – the goal is to grow into something very different than that.” I asked him about what their plans are for upcoming features and functionality. He told me that they are currently focused on enhancing the current experience then working toward a mobile experience and adding personal analytics around the content we share to our social networks.
I’m looking forward towards watching Showw.me progress as well as more startups being created that take advantage of Singly. Surely many other folks are out there that will become enabled by the Singly API and we’ll see some innovative services come from it. Check out the video below with Noah being interviewed by Singly.