Monday, October 22, 2012

Prismatic, Your Personalized Interest Network

Co-founded by Bradford Cross and Aria Haghighi in early 2012, Prismatic is an iPhone app that gives you a personal news feed based on your interests. All you have to do is sign up with Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, and Prismatic will start connecting you with the most interesting stories on the web. Featuring clean, simple layouts, the app promises to provide you with “a delightful reading experience.”

Prismatic knows how to balance all your interests, so you always get a combination of what you like and new stuff that you wouldn't find otherwise. Because the app is designed to help you explore content without any limits, it also suggests links that you might find interesting. And when you do come across something you'd like to pass on to your friends and family, you can share it with them via email, Twitter, or Facebook right from the app.

According to Cross, social networks are what inspired him and his team to launch Prismatic. While social networks have made the Internet more human by connecting a billion people in one big conversation, they have made us arrogant as well, he says. “We decided to build an 'interest network' focused on interesting content – the stuff you're not seeing on social networks. This seems to be what everybody wants and loves much more so than 'filtering the signal from the noise' in what they already see.”

Creating this “interest network” was no easy feat, as keeping people engaged can be tricky. Hence, Cross and company focused on achieving the right mix of technical research, design research, and social to make Prismatic a daily use product. So far, 20 percent of the app's weekly users are using it six or seven days per week. Prismatic recently added more social features, allowing users to follow their favorite topics, people, and publishers.

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