Point is a small and simple app for link sharing and commentary

Point (getpoint.co) is a wonderfully designed curation tool, intended to support the most common use cases of link sharing. Instead of emailing a link to others, and creating an email thread away from the page, Point is a Chrome extension that allows sharing of comment right on the page of interest.

After setting up the app — which has a clever onboarding set-up, by the way — I used the ‘@’ to wake up Point to the fact I wanted to point to this page (which is why it’s called Point, I guess). I then selected some text I wanted to highlight, and shared it with my wife, as shown below.

Screenshot 2015-01-05 16.55.11

The tool displays a quote icon as the means of capturing the text, as I did in this point.

Screenshot 2015-01-05 16.30.55

You can similarly select photos, videos, or other elements on a page, like this:

Screenshot 2015-01-09 14.41.48

 

Clicking on the image or the quote will scroll the page to the appropriate point so that the clicked element is displayed.

The controls for existing shared points and settings are accessed by the ‘@’ icon in the Chrome toolbar. Here’s some of my existing points, which are scrollable:

Screenshot 2015-01-09 14.30.05

The icons at the bottom can be used to access other information, like those you are sharing points with (‘Friends”), what is popular on the site, and tags that you have applied. Note that clicking on a tag will filter for those points.

Screenshot 2015-01-09 14.33.23

I’ve only used Point for a few days, but it certainly fits a gap in my tool suite: a well-designed tool for sharing pointers to web pages and for communicating about them.

I think it would be a good fit for teams, and that is perhaps the one missing feature: it would be sensible for something so oriented around sharing to support named groups. Something for the road map, I guess.

Today in Social

Facebook apps using Open Graph auto-sharing were pretty much all or nothing. Now Facebook is enabling app developers to offer users more finely grained control. This is infinitely sensible, though it isn’t really aimed at helping those developers increase usage. And I expect many if not most users won’t bother to go through the process. Social media’s role in content discovery is increasing, and the tools for publishers and apps evolve rapidly. Of course Facebook is notorious for tinkering with its platform to balance user experience versus marketing needs. None of these factors is changing soon.

Today in Social

Incubator Betaworks will buy what’s left of Digg – not the people – and try to rejuvenate it by munging it together with News.me.  The link-sharing social media pioneer might have been sold for $500,000, according to reports, or perhaps it was $16 million, if you count the rumored dollars from the Washington Post (for its best engineers) and LinkedIn (patents). This is the part where you’re supposed to go into “Lessons learned.” But the digerati always loved Digg more than the masses did. Digg had a small cadre of loyal users (of course it did, it was built on a classic 90/10 reader versus “publisher” model) who hated the re-design that tried to take it mainstream. And the loyal Diggers had to dig too hard to get posts on the front page because promoters – spammers – gamed the system. But did anyone have a right to think that link-sharing would be mainstream, or be enough to power a news site without other means of curation? Will Pinterest eventually suffer a similar fate, or is scrapbooking more mass-market?

Today in Social

Rags Srinivasan builds a believable model for what kind of revenues Pinterest might be able to generate if it built out an e-commerce affiliate system. You may remember it had a scheme with Skimlinks where it intercepted potential affiliate fees from its users’ pinned links, but it shut it down when it got some bad PR. The potential is definitely there as Pinterest scales, even if the site hasn’t yet started to become a gathering place for influencers. We’ll soon be posting a GigaOM Pro Flash analysis of the outlook for Pinterest based on a survey of GIgaOM early-adopter users. They think marketing services and affiliate fees are Pinterest’s best revenue opportunities.

Pinterest: signs of staying power

Will Pinterest be a fad that flashes and burns, as Turntable.fm shows signs of doing, or will it end up a midsize link sharer like Digg or Reddit? It is worth examining Pinterest’s growth, usage, influence and money-making potential for startup lessons and marketing opportunities.

Facebook’s app ecosystem is still missing a piece of the puzzle

At its f8 developer conference, Facebook laid out a grand vision of a new class of lifestyle apps enabled by its platform. Last week, at a subdued event that attracted far less media coverage, Facebook showed 60 apps. Is this a letdown? Not necessarily, but Facebook needs an effective marketplace for app promotion and monetization.

Today in Social

Facebook’s data team says that although users are more inclined to share amongst friends they have strong ties to, their sheer number of connections means social networks aren’t echo chambers. Yes, friends’ content sharing is more influential, but Facebook says the majority of the activity comes through connections with weaker connections. I’m a little puzzled why Facebook doesn’t quote its actual data on the latter. And Facebook’s algorithms contribute to the mix (it wants to show you what you’re interested in, but that doesn’t always come directly from close friends). All very interesting, with the major implication for content companies and marketers being: Nothing’s as simple as you thought. It’s not just about reaching “influencers.” Meanwhile, more sharing is on the horizon as rumors suggest a wave of friction-less apps are coming Wednesday.

Today in Social

I’m not sure I’m willing to call every Facebook overhaul a “privacy” effort. Starting tomorrow a small number of Facebook users will see a lot of tweaks to key Facebook functions. The biggest changes? Tagging posts as “public” or for more focused distribution. An overhauled photo-tagging scheme (non-friends can do it, but with permission). And Facebook is dumping its location check-in feed, though not abandoning location. Post-targeting doesn’t replicate Google+ Circles or one-way relationships. Mathew Ingram wonders if, like Lists, it will be too hard to use and result in less sharing overall. MG Siegler thinks adding locations to other posts will result in richer targeting data. I suspect most sharers will tag things “public” and not bother with location – Facebook seems to be conceding location check-ins to Foursquare et al. What do you think?

Today in Social

At last, Google’s social efforts begin to bear fruit. Om has the scoop on Google+, a new hub for social activities. He likes that it’s designed to support mobile – which might be Google’s best chance to gain traction against Facebook – and he’s particularly fond of its video chat capabilities and a feature for group messaging. Over at TechCrunch, MG Siegler thinks Google+ is Buzz done right. I’m intrigued by what Google calls “Circles,” which looks like a better way of doing Facebook Groups, that is, setting up circles of friends within your network that can be based on context – interests, family, geography, etc. Likewise users can create “Sparks” or topical feeds for organizing in or outside of Circles. As Om says, Google still lacks social DNA, and other than supporting +1 buttons, Google+ seems oddly unconnected to search. Google will try to encourage adoption by +-izing all its sites with a prominent sharing toolbar. What do you think, should Facebook be worried?