Social content aggregator site about.me has been picked up by AOL, just weeks after being unveiled to the public.
The Power of Personal Statistics
About.me offers two clear-cut benefits for any web-engaged user. A single site with access to all your personal social media site information and analytics on who comes to visit and what they read about you, it is such an enticing proposition that AOL has purchased the company while it is still in diapers.
Actually, the effort in creating the about.me product did take about a year, quite similar to other services like flavor.me, so not quite original thinking, but it is still effort that shows. A direct sign-up in your social pages like Facebook takes a minute. You can then create a highly personal super-homepage using the data gathered from elsewhere, all with a high-gloss, jargon-free finish.
About.me -- Just how popular are you, really?
A Win-Win Situation
For the end-user, it helps make a single portal that people can come to find out what they are up to, regardless of whether they are having a Facebook-heavy week, a mobile Twitter-heavy day or if they constantly use a herd of different social sites.
Not only can users figure out exactly who comes to look at your data, so you know who your friends really are, but you can actually measure where you spend your time and figure out which sites are most socially "valuable" to you.
The Business of Social
For about.me, and other companies who may try to emulate it, it represents the next phase in the social business web. Building the next Facebook is going to be tough for any business. Instead, using the data from the disparate social sites in new and attractive ways to users may generate a sizable following.
Naturally, with all that data to mine, there are endless possibilities for advertisers. Where a large number of users gather, there are lots of promotional activities and it won't be a huge leap to see the site offering social location-based features and so on.
The acquisition may well help AOL in the next phase of its regeneration and at least shows there is life in the old dog yet. About.me was formed by Tony Conrad, who also sold his last venture, Sphere, to AOL. Will users still flock to this fledgling service now that it is under the auspices of AOL, or will they head elsewhere?