At the end of last year we launched Ping.it in closed beta. Since then, we had some great press and thousands of sign-ups from testers across the world. Based on your feedback, we worked hard to make Ping.it the best platform for content discovery.
So, what’s the news? Well, today we’re ready to open Ping.it in public beta, but what we really want to tell you about is one feature that we think is a game changer.
We’ve experimented a lot up to this point; at each stage building a little more of the feature we’re about to showcase today. We now think we’ve created something genuinely useful that can help content discovery in the social world.
The new feature is called “Probes”. These are small apps which go out and retrieve information from across the Web on behalf of the user. They can be created, edited, shared and subscribed to – all by Ping.it users.
For the first time, you’ll be able to personalize content subscriptions to suit your unique interests, rather than being limited to simple RSS feeds as most readers are.
Say you wish to receive updates on “YouTube Videos on Reddit with more than 1 million views”, for example. You can easily create a Probe that uses the APIs of both YouTube and Reddit to draw the information directly to your feed, which can then be shared across the Ping.it platform. It’s a whole new world of content discovery.
What really makes this feature stand out is that in contrast to the passive methods of typical ‘single-feed subscriptions’, our users are able to decide what they deem interesting or useful to “probe” for, and that’s what they’ll see. You – our users – decide, not us.
We’ve pivoted a few times since we started (twists and turns that are inevitable in the path of a startup) but now there is a recognized need for a truly social reader: free from clunk, confusion and irrelevant content. Ping.it has been in the game long before the announced retirement of Google Reader, but now that has happened, our path is clearer than ever before.
Try out the Probes and let us know what you think – we’d love your thoughts, comments and criticisms. You can get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up-to-date by following us on Facebook, Twitter and the blog.