Thinglink, a Finnish born service, has gone through a heavy redesign and landed in a private beta as a whole new service. What was before a product code that linked real world object via web to each other is now a conversational product catalog and platform.
The invitation-only beta officially launched on April 22nd at the Milan Furniture Fair with 10 design brands including Arabia Finland, Design Eero Aarnio, Fokus Fabrik, Helsinki Design Week, Iittala, Harri Koskinen, Martela, Selki Station, Ilmari Tapiovaara Design and Woodnotes. The service was also developed in cooperation with many of these Finnish design brands.
Those of use who remember thinglink.org as a product code service are up for a surprise when they enter the new site. The upgrade that launched in Milan added a whole new dimension to the Thinglink we knew as well as changed the .org into .com. Thinglink.com is a global catalog for design that enables designers, brands, and design enthusiasts to connect and converse on the web.
Designers and brands who upload their catalogs to thinglink.com can build a community of fans around their products. Design enthusiasts who join the conversation on thinglink.com can post messages about their latest discoveries, ask and answer questions about new and vintage products, and share photos of their favorite design objects in real life settings.
The site reminds me a lot of Sfeed (we covered Sfeed here), an Estonian startup. This is largely due to the fact that the event stream build around products is at the heart of the Thinglink just as it is in Sfeed, although Thinglink is much more comprehensive and sleek, the user-interface is better and the overall look and feel is just right.
Even though Ulla-Maaria Engeström is behind the service itself, I’m guessing that Jyri has something to do with the user-interface design as well as the focus on social object like thinking, namely that you build conversations around products. Along with Jaiku, social objects are what Jyri is famous for and thanks to him the whole social object term entered the web 2.0 world.
Thinklink has also just announced a Design In the Wild photo contest where you can win a green Pastil chair that’s on the picture above in yellow. Go check out the contest here. Thinglink was also nice enough to give us whopping 200(!) invites. If you’re quick and want to join, click here to get your invite.
Thinglink is one of the better designed services I’ve seen lately and it’s not only because I’m a big friend of the design products in the heart of the service.