Financial news site MarketWatch added a number of new features to their site recently, including a single search box (you no longer need to look up stock symbols separately) and a new user-generated stock price predictor called MarketPerception.
The predictor is a small widget included on every stock listing page (example). Users are asked whether the stock will move up or down on the next trading day from its current price. Once a selection is made, the overall user votes are shown.
Users can also see which stocks are getting a large number of user votes on any particular day.
Last year a number of other sites began experiments in gathering user opinions on stocks to create additional content and potential revenue streams. See our articles on SocialPicks, Motley Fool CAPS and The Street’s Stockpickr for examples.
MarketPerception is a very simple tool at this point, but the company says they’ll be expanding functionality later this year. The long term goal is to develop more community features on top of the market perception rating. The finished product will most likely resemble other social stock market sites out there, with a rating system based on the accuracy of your predictions and performance of your stock portfolio.
MarketWatch’s two largest investors were Viacom and Pearson Plc, until Dow Jones bought the entire operation for $500 million in January 2005. In February, MarketWatch had 6.6 million unique visitors and 172 million page views.