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RebelMouse: an easy way to “deal with social”?

6 Sep, 12 | by BMJ

With more and more social networks appearing on a daily basis, many find themselves with multiple sites to manage and not enough time to do so. Enter RebelMouse, a self-proclaimed “social front page”, that pulls in user content from social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

At first glance, RebelMouse looks like a digital newspaper, hosted on Pinterest. After you spend some time on the site, however, it becomes clear that there is more to it than that. Founded by Paul Berry, the former CTO of The Huffington Post, RebelMouse has already signed up 32,000 users since it’s launch in June.

In part, Berry says he founded RebelMouse with the needs of publishers in mind, because they’d been asking for an easy way to “deal with social.”  With most social sites (Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest, etc) focussing on building their own networks, RebelMouse aims to make sense of the fragmentation left in their wake. Until now,  social data has had no central hub and tends to get drowned out and lost as soon as it’s published. RebelMouse fill a gap in the market by providing one central location to capture a user’s online output.

“We’re the public de-nerdifier for Twitter,” says Berry. “As a best-practice user of their API, and with the new version of Twitter incorporating RebelMouse, this could be the very thing that makes Twitter seriously competitive with Facebook in terms of ‘friendliness.’”

So, what is it that users are signing up for? RebelMouse describes itself as your “social front page”. In short, once users have connected their Facebook and Twitter accounts, their most recent updates are posted in a Pinterest-style collage (see my page , or the RebelMouse page as examples).

The creation process is entirely automated but you do have the opportunity to tweak the results before they are published.  The platform allows you to delete certain updates or stick particularly important ones to the top of your page (similar to Facebook). Berry sums it up very nicely: it’s similar to “seeing yourself in the mirror for the first time” — you probably want to spend a few seconds fixing your hair. They also recently added a text editor so that users can blog directly from their own site. This is done by clicking “Add Story” in the upper right or by opening up any story already on your page that you wish to add text to.

There will also be plenty of improvements in the coming weeks and months. First up is deeper integration with Facebook Pages for companies as  it’s currently difficult to connect many different Facebook Pages. Another big goal is to turn the “drafts” area, which currently shows extra content suggestions, that you could publish to your page, into a full stream of updates that other RebelMouse users have published, which you can then browse and republish.

Finally, the platform is working on a mobile app with a twist.“We’re going to allow people and businesses to launch personalized iOS apps using our platform.” These apps will allow people with large personal followings as well as businesses to create apps that allow fans and followers to track what they do in the social space in a single, centralised location.

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