A Social Media Newspaper
While sifting through the social media streams can be daunting and at times complex, Paper.li has found that by aggregating social content and presenting it into an easily readable newspaper format is just the solution.
“Our baseline: everybody is a publisher,” said Edouard Lambelet, co-founder and CEO of SmallRivers, the company that produces Paper.li.
In just six months since its inception, Paper.li has gathered two million unique users, published 150,000 “papers” and operates in 200 different countries under four languages. The company was also one of three startups that won the award at LeWeb, the biggest international tech conference, last December.
New Funding, Lots of Expansion
This month, the Switzerland-based company behind Paper.li, SmallRivers, raised US$ 2.1 million in new funding from Highland Capital Partners, SoftBank Capital and Endeavour Vision.
“Harnessing the convergence of the semantic and social web, Paper.li is at the forefront of the emerging ‘social curation’ market,” said Dan Nova, General Partner at Highland. “Paper.li represents the next wave of publishing by matching context and content from diverse streams of social media information and packaging it in an easier to consume manner.”
Paper.li extracts, analyzes and organizes links shared on Twitter and Facebook and produces them into a newspaper format with what it deems the most engaging front page headlines and buttons to view the rest of the stories. Paper.li also allows users to create their own Twitter paper and subscribe, share and search for other “papers”. Newspapers can be created for any Twitter users, list, hashtag, Facebook posts or even keyword search.
SmallRivers plans to use the new capital to expand its offices worldwide, especially into California, as well as pay bills. Paper.li also plans to expand its offerings into new geographies, languages and provide more customization capabilities such as an API to integrate more content and network sources, Lambelet said.
The company is still without a proper business model though and is looking at revenue-generating premium offerings and advertising. It has received many advertising propositions and is still experimenting with the right formula.
“Our new partners will be instrumental in helping us to enhance our team, build strong partnerships with major service and content providers, establish operations in the U.S. and Asia, and accelerate growth on all continents.”
However, the company has had issues with some of its papers considered to be spam, since whenever a paper is created it is automatically sent to the people featured in it. Lambelet said the company is currently addressing this issue and users can request not be mentioned by Tweeting “newscrier” to the company.
Paper.li isn’t alone in this space.TigerLogic’s PostPost has a similar product based on Facebook news feeds and Flipboard, which bills itself as a “social magazine,” offers a similar iPad product.
An example of Paper.li: http://www.cmswire.com/images/paperli_jeffjarvis.jpg