After reading on techcrunch about ProfileLinker and then on Business 2.0 beta blog about Spokeo, I decided to try both out and see if they’re about.
ProfileLinker aims to enable you to manage all your social networks in one place, much the same way Meebo’s done with instant messagers. Until recently it’s been in closed beta, but now that’s been opened up I thought I’d give it a go.
I must be missing something, because I can’t seem to manage anything of the social networking sites I’ve added so far. It looks as though the only really unique feature so far is the ability to search user profiles across social networks and even that is not 100%. Granted, they have just gone live, so I suppose everything will come together in time and support. What I was thinking it would allow me to do is check network messages and perhaps update profile details in a central place to propagate throughout the social networks I’ve added, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. From a technical point of view I can see how that would be complicated, so I suppose it’ll take some time still.
However, this got me thinking, do we really need a Meebo for social networks? Social networks, or at least the good ones, have something unique to offer that you can’t generalize it and have the same experience. With instant messaging the goal is always the same, chatting to another person, by providing a general interface to dissimilar instant messaging providers, you’re not losing out on much. Social networks are a different story, each should provide something unique for which you come back for gladly.
Spokeo is a little different, they aim bring multiple social networks into a central place, so if you want to see what your buddy’s been up to over multiple social networks you can go to one place and see what everything together. A little more feasible, but somehow I don’t see it taking off in big way, again for the reason mentioned before about generalizing a unique service.
Would any of you ever consider using a site like ProfileLinker or Spokeo?