Grouply is a startup trying to improve the online “groups” systems (Yahoo/Google Groups) currently used by over 100 million registered users. Their first goal was to create a simple management tool for easily tracking updates across your groups on the two networks. You give Grouply your account credentials and they organize your accounts in a more convenient manner (see our earlier review). Their second goal, has been to bring those systems up to speed with the latest social networking enhancements.
The newly launched features are collectively called “Grouply Social” and include all the social networking features you’d expect. User profile pages show your interests, personal history, and contact information. The pages also support multimedia like most social networks, allowing users to share photos, videos, and “widgets” from sites like YouTube and Slide. Members can also befriend each other, with full privacy controls. You can decide who has access to your profile and what portions they can see, similar to Facebook.
The rest of the internet is clearly blowing past these older “groups” services when it comes to usability and engagement. Sites like Tangler, Wetpaint, and Klostu are creating whole new systems to bring online forums up to speed. As we’ve said before, Grouply is taking an evolutionary approach by absorbing users and data from existing systems and enhancing their functionality. Grouply recently raised over $1.3 million.