Santa Monica based Tagworld has been quietly beta testing its product for a few months, and officially opened its doors earlier this week. They now have 75,000 members and are growing by thousands per day. The funny thing is that I had never heard of them before last week when I was contacted by Carmen Hughes of ignitepr for a preview.
Tagworld is a huge project. At its core it is a blogging platform, and at first glance it appeared to be a sort of advanced Myspace or Tagged – a blogging platform that would ultimately appeal to teens and college students as its core market. But after meeting the founders and getting a first hand look at the deep features, it’s clear that it is more than just the next teen blogging hangout. There are advanced features that will appeal to a much larger audience.
The site is still rough and a number of features are buggy. But given their early subscriber growth, it appears that they are on to something interesting.
Tagworld was founded by Fred Krueger and Evan Rifkin, two serial entrepreneurs who’ve had a string of successful liquidity events. They’ve self funded Tagworld, which is six months old and has 20 employees.
The site is going to try to own just about every web 2.0 experience of its users – blogging, bookmarking, photos and other media files, file storage, and tagging. They say they are going to have open data in and out, meaning if a user is really attached to say, Flickr, they’ll be able to integrate with those photos seemlessly. And they’ll have RSS and APIs to send data out. But their clear goal, as Fred said when we met, is to replace del.icio.us, flickr and blogger (among other services) for its users.
All features are free to users (other than extended file storage); Tagworld makes its money from integrated advertising.
Tagworld has a solid blogging platform that is based on user-included widgets (posts, pictures, tags, friends, media player, maps, etc.). Designing the site is done through an Ajax interfact that allows dragging and dropping for quick organization.
The platform is based on widget objects. There are a bunch of widgets that have already been included (such as those mentioned in the paragraph above), and there is an API for third parties to create their own and share them on Tagworld.
Blogs are easily customized by users, and more advanced users can take full control of the html as well.
Tagworld has an advanced wysiwyg tool for editing blogs, including adding photos (resizing, positioning) and media files.
A social bookmarking feature is included. They do not yet have a bookmarklet but the core functionality is on the site. Tagworld automatically takes a small screen shot of the page as well and includes it with the bookmark metadata. Bookmarks can be tagged, and shared or kept private. They are also building integration tools with other bookmark services such as del.icio.us.
Tagworld has a decent tool for uploading photos. There’s a great flash module for showing off photos on the home page.
Uploading media files is also easy, and there is a media player module to play video and audio files on the home page. Fred and Evan say that they will also have flickr integration into and out of tagworld for users who do not want to switch.
They are still ironing out the details on this feature, but Tagworld is allowing a full gig of file storage. These files can be tagged, searched and integrated into the user’s website very easily. Uploaded media files can be played on the home page/blog by integrating it with the player widget.
The first gig is free. They plan to charge “at cost” for additional storage.
Everything on Tagworld can be tagged. People, posts, pictures, media files, other files, etc. Combined with search, it’s a very useful way of finding content.
There are other nice touches as well. Search is well integrated with personal and community tags. RSS will be available soon. And they’ve done some interesting things with Ajax, such as a slider control to increase or decrease the search results shown on a page.
Tagworld is not for everyone, but it may be for the mass consumer that is just starting to jump into web 2.0.
I just checked the site. In the time it took me to write this profile, Tagworld added another 1,500 users. In the end, customer acquisition and monetization is all that really matters.