Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Pearltrees Launches iPad App That Lets Users Connect Through Their Curated Interests

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 11, 2011

(Pearltrees is a consulting client.)

Pearltrees, a French-based curation platform, today released an iPad app that lets users easily explore the curated collections of websites created by more than 200,000 people, via a unique visual and touch interface that serves a discovery engine based on interests.

The company has the world's largest community of online curators on its platform. Many work in teams to create a Pearltree, which consists of "pearls" -- each is a visual metaphor for a web page. Users can share and collect each other's Pearltrees, creating an ever expanding web topology generated by humans and their interests, rather than algorithms.

The free application takes full advantage of the iPad's touch interface to enable users to quickly discover collections of websites with simple swipes of their finger.

"This is the first time that you can see an interest graph in action," said Patrice Lamothe, CEO and co-founder of Pearltrees. "Users can discover the curation work of more than 200,000 Pearltrees users. There is no other application that does this."

Pearltrees is betting that many people are suffering from social network fatigue and the many chores of online relationship management. [Please see: The Tamagotchi Nature Of Social Networks]

"On Pearltrees there are no friends to collect or people to follow, it is solely based on your interests," said Fran├žois Rocaboy, Chief Marketing Officer, co-founder of Pearltrees, and inventor of its "pearls" visual interface. "It's a way for people to curate their special places on the web, cultivating their own garden of interests, and taking their time to make a collection, a similar process to a curator in an art gallery. The iPad app is a great way to discover these curations."

The iPad app can be downloaded here.

And here is a screen cast, you really have to see it because it's a very visual app.


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Here is an example of a documentary I put together using Pearltrees and found video footage from the recent Outside Lands music festival. I chose the best videos from sites such as Youtube, to try to recapture some of the excitement and the fun of being in a crowd of people happy to be among so much great music.

You are in the middle of the action. At times the camera swings in the air along with everyone's arms; sometimes you can't hear the music because everyone around you is singing; while an other clip shows happy fans singing on the bus that's taking them home -- all wonderful vignettes inexpertly captured.

Pearltrees allows me to quickly organize the video clips and it has a media viewer that makes it easy to show to anyone, without them needing a user account. And it looks really good on the iPad.

Even better, my curation of Outside Lands can be easily shared and collected by other Pearltrees users. If I make changes to my Outside Lands documentary, those changes are automatically published to everyone that has that Pearltree in their collection -- it's a powerful and unique media publishing platform. Which is precisely why I chose to work with Pearltrees in late 2009.

Please take a look at my Outside Lands found-footage documentary. (And please let me know if you'd like to team up with me, I've still got a lot of curating to do, and many hundreds of videos to review. But it's a fun project.)

Outside Lands 2011 - Found Fan Video Documentary in Outside Lands 2011
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About Pearltrees:

Launched in December 2009, Pearltrees has gathered more than 200.000 collectors and more than 10 million pearls. The company has been growing at average rate of 15% month over month, with over half a million visits in September.

Since being founded, the company has been recognized by OSEO in Europe as a "leap forward" and was selected as one of only five companies for the Launch Pad at Web2.0 Expo in 2010.

Pearltrees has raised 3.8 million Euros from a group of international entrepreneurs and angel investors.

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Useful Links:

Direct Link to Pearltrees for iPad in the App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pearltrees-for-ipad/id463462134?mt=8&ls=1

Demo Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zDkwN-_ySg

Short screen-cast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXU-IKS7KdA

Screen Shots: http://bitly.com/opOsVz


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