Last April, we introduced you to BOLT, a new page-sharing service. For the last year, BOLT has been in private beta, where a select group of users have been experimenting, and refining the way we collect, share and save any webpage, image or file. Today, BOLT opens its platform to the general public.
Just BOLT It!
[Full disclosure: I was one of the beta users]
BOLT has gone through many changes over the past few months in an effort to better engage users and allow them to permanently save meaningful content from the web and organize the resulting dynamic “super screen captures” into browsable private or shared collections.
A lot can happen in a short amount of time. In the six months, we’ve seen an explosion of visual content sharing sites, such as Pinterest, whose engagement exploded and has slowly begun to wane. However, if you’re thinking there isn’t room for another visual, social page sharing site, think again. BOLT doesn’t want to replace Pinterest. Instead, it provides an interesting mix of visual browsing, sharing and content creation and eliminates the need for separate personal and professional saving and sharing solutions.
Using the BOLT Chrome extension, bolting web page content is easy.
Sharing bolts across social media can be done within the same window.
With BOLT, users can create and organize private and public collections and share to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and schedule via Buffer. Users can also enable Google Analytics and KISS Metrics to analyze the way the content they collect is shared across networks. Plus, because bolts are stored on BOLT’s proprietary page cloud, they will not change or disappear if the original site goes away. This also serves as a way to address copyright issues. Instead of "scraping" and taking unauthorized copy of web site images, BOLT works to motivate curation and sharing by enabling members to create copies so that, should the original content move or be abandoned, their collections will not be compromised. As well, because of access to analytics tracking, BOLT's ultimate focus is on helping content curators monetize and increase traffic to their sites.
Since December 2011, nearly one million bolted pages already been saved and shared via BOLT by its 30,000 beta users. Within this time, users have demonstrated different uses for BOLT, including the following trends:
- Consumers and “prosumers.” By providing a simple method beyond bookmarking, BOLT allows users to permanently keep, find and share ideas, images and resources.
- Business professionals BOLT lets users permanently archive records of online content, promote and share links to articles as well as gather research for sales calls and conferences.
- Bloggers BOLT provides an additional branding channel for bloggers by driving and measuring traffic from other social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. It also lets users see what's popular or trending in their niche and organize resources and create visual blog posts.
Anyone can sign up to use BOLT for free. BOLT also offers paid features that give users the ability to publish bolts to their own domain, embed HTML code on your pages or look at segments of your traffic and configure additional custom audiences inside your account.