18 Oct 2011

UberMedia Launches Social Interest Network Chime.in

We’d been hearing rumors for months that UberMedia — a developer of social media management clients – was working on its own social network to rival the likes of Twitter and Facebook. As it turns out, there has been no smoke without fire as the company has announced the launch of Chime.in, a social interest network that aims to help you connect with friends and new people while sharing and discovering content related to your interests.
Chime.in allows you to share posts called Chimes that are tracked in a Chimeline (nice pun on “timeline,” there). You can add rich media to your Chimes, including images, videos, links and polls, and you can engage with that media directly without having to launch another app or website.

Chimes can be shared across other social networking platforms — such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ — and by email. They can be saved to read later and discarded if you are not interested in them. You can sort Chimes by interest, how often they have been shared, when they were posted and how many comments they have received. The comments on Chimes appear in a threaded format, while you can sort and like comments. A feature that will be added early next year will allow you to analyze Chimes to view their reach and impact.
The discovery aspect of Chime.in means that the social interest network surfaces the most relevant and worthwhile content to help you discover what people are saying around a specific topic. You can follow interests, specific people and (something that’s very interesting to me) Chimes related to a specific interest from specific people — a feature that UberMedia is calling “selective follow.”
You can view recommendations for people and interests to follow and communities to join, while you’ll be able to search for interests, people and communities simultaneously. Chime.in editors will offer curated content, while a feature which will be launched next year promises to make it easy for you to find the people with the most authority on a specific interest (which sounds very much like the topic pages feature of Klout to me).
Meanwhile, monetization tools will offer promotional spots on community and profile pages; full control over promotional activity; and a revenue share feature that allows anyone — an individual, brand or publisher — to receive some of the revenue that UberMedia generates from the content they create.

At launch, Chime.in has big-name partners in the form of entertainment brands E! Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios and Bravo, while real estate brokerage Redfin is a launch partner too. Comcast Ventures is also joining the launch as it has invested in UberMedia.
Bill Gross, CEO of UberMedia, said:
Social media is the future of all electronic content and transactions. It will be everywhere, just like oxygen. However, now that a billion people are using social media, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of content that’s irrelevant to you. Chime.in, by focusing on your interests, and not just people, makes it much more relevant and engaging.
The selective follow feature is something I find very intriguing as it echoes some of the noise controls that Facebook launched recently along with the Subscribe button. While Facebook limits what you see from a specific person to posts on games, photos and videos, status updates, etc, Chime.in lets you follow posts related to certain interests from certain people, which is a very a smart move. For instance, I might have one friend who shares interesting thoughts about gadgets and I can choose to view those posts, while ignoring all of their posts about celebrity gossip if I don’t want to see them.
UberMedia has had well-documented run-ins with Twitter this year. The company’s apps Twidroyd and UberTwitter (now known as UberSocial and UberSocial for Android respectively) had their access to Twitter revoked following issues related to Twitter’s API rules, but later had their access restored. The companies also appared to butt heads over the acquisition of popular third-party social media management client Tweetdeck — a battle that was won by Twitter.
The beta version of Chime.in is now available as a browser-based app, while there are mobile apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry too. Registration for the beta version of the network is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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