Frictionless sharing. A phrase quickly becoming synonymous with linkbait, embarrassing content, and oversharing. Most people have only come into contact with the concept through Facebook, where I’m sure your experience has been like mine. You can see some genuinely interesting articles your friends have read, but also you see that your friend read a particularly trashy article, and you judge them hard for it (while you google the title to read the same article too).
This has been the world of frictionless sharing, but Helsinki-based Scoopinion is looking to change that by changing the concept to less of a personal affair. When you read articles with the just-launchend Scoopinion Chrome browser add-on installed, it picks up how your read articles and uses that information to build a list of what’s interesting on the web. Users can then find links to interesting content by going to Scoopinion’s website, or by just clicking on the browser extension button, which pulls up a list of content that might be interesting to you.
Unlike fricitonless sharing on Facebook, Scoopinion doesn’t lead itself to frivolous content, however. The browser plugin only picks up content from sites on its whitelist, which consists of newspapers, online magazines, and long-form blogs.
The algorithm also only makes note of articles that have been read for more than 30 seconds, which does not give a platform to quick and mindless content. On their blog they describe themselves as solving the problem of what content aggregators like Reddit have come to be known for. Reddit figures out quality of content from votes from its readers, which is democratic, but these sites begin to punish longer-form content as people vote up content (like pictures) that are quicker to consume.
Aside from providing a place where you can find interesting content, Scoopinion will also provide statistics on how you read articles, which I imagine will be interesting in a Last.FM kind of way. To monetize the service, they’re considering being the source of connecting readers to subscription content, as Scoopinion knows which sources you value more than others.
The service also sees itself being of use to journalists, who can get information of how readers actually read their articles. The browser plugin picks up how the page is scrolled down, which can generate a heat map of how the page was viewed. This provides much deeper information than pageviews or time on site, as journalists can see where people drop off on the article, or spend more time than other areas.
For finding good content to read, Scoopinion’s crowdsourced approach makes sense because it figures out what people are acutally reading. It will definitely be a Helsinki startup to watch.