ShopSocially: Another(!) Site to Foster Conversations About Buying Products

Were you thinking to yourself, “What I really need is another way to share what I’ve bought with my friends?” You’re not alone! At least I hope you’re not alone, given a useful social web service requires a healthy network of people to support it. And now we have yet another one: ShopSocially.

To be fair, ShopSocially has the unfortunate timing of launching shortly after two similar services, Blippy and Swipely. The way ShopSocially differentiates is that it is not automatic. Users don’t import their credit card and merchant accounts to share purchases wholesale or item by item. Instead, they manually enter new products they’ve bought (ShopSocially then locates the product info and a photo, and includes a link to where to buy it so as to collect affiliate revenue-sharing).

The idea is to be more casual and private, encouraging conversations on the site about what to buy and why. Users can share their questions to Facebook and comment threads there get neatly imported back. And of course, there are badges and rewards of being crowned a “shopping god” (aka a Foursquare-type mayor) to encourage participation.

One nice thing that ShopSocially does is invite users to “shout” to one another to ask for advice about buying products before they ever make a purchase. So you could query your friends, as ShopSocially CEO Jai Rawat did, as to where or not you should buy the new Flip camera to capture videos of your kids on the go.

Six-month-old ShopSocially is self-funded and has 10 employees in Sunnyvale, Calif. and Pune, India. It opens for public beta testing today.