Clipboard, the web clipping service founded by former Overture vet Gary Flake, has just completed the acquisitions of two competitors, Amplify and Clipmarks. The startup, which is taking on the challenge of reviving social bookmarking, is backed by many top notch investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, SV Angel, Betaworks, DFJ, First Round, CrunchFund (note: TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington is a founding partner in CrunchFund) and others.
Current Amplify and Clipmarks users will be invited to join Clipboard via email, but anyone else can request an invitation to the Clipboard private beta directly from the the service’s homepage.
As per usual, terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed, but users are in the process of being notified now. An official blog post will also go up later today, serving as “official notification.”
For those unfamiliar, both Amplify and Clipmarks served similar interests: social bookmarking. To be clear, Amplify is actually owned by Clipmarks, LLC, but functions as a separate service. Amplify allows users to clip excerpts from an article, photos, videos, and other content, and then share those items across social media. It was more of a utility for posting content to multiple networks at once (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress, etc.). Meanwhile Clipmarks, an older service, did much of the same, but focused more on publishing clips to your blog, emailing items to friends or even printing them out. It also once included a Digg-like feature that allowed the most popular bookmarks to “pop” up to the top of the site.
In 2007, TechCrunch reported Clipmarks may have been acquired by Forbes, during a time when Delicious still reigned in the social bookmarking space. But instead of improving on the original Clipmarks product itself, Forbes spun it back around as a new service called Amplify.
Although social bookmarking once seemed to be a bit of a holdover from the Web 2.0 era, the recent success of startups like Pinterest have shown that there’s still life in this category yet, especially if you leverage the social backbone of Facebook to go viral and combine that with a more appealing, visual user interface.
On that front, Clipboard announced a design refresh earlier this month that clearly puts it in Pinterest’s territory. Web clips now appear as tiles with thumbnail previews, action counters and annotations (hashtags), and are laid out on the page as tiled boxes of varying sizes.
The most intriguing thing about Clipboard at present, however, is its current list of investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, CrunchFund, DFJ, SV Angel / Ron Conway, Betaworks, First Round Capital, CODE Advisors, Founder’s Co-Op, Acequia Capital, Vast Ventures, Ted Meisel (former CEO of Overture and now at Elevation Partners), Blake Krikorian (former CEO of Sling and now an Amazon board member), and Vivi Nevo.
Clipboard was founded by Gary William Flake in January 2011 with the simple goal of helping people save and share the parts of the Web that they care about. Since the Internet is more than two decades old, doesn’t it seem strange that the typical way to save something online is to put it into an email or a document? We think so too, which is why we built an easy and powerful tool to help you. All of this...
Clipmarks lets users share just the best parts of webpages. Using their plugin, you can bundle together your favorite selections of content from a webpage. This includes text as well as pictures and video. Submissions are then “popped” by other members of the community, with the most popular at the top. Using the plugin, you can also submit your clips to your blog. Plum is a similar social bookmarking competitor.
Clipmarks is a Mozilla/Firefox or IE plugin that brings up an interactive clipping menu. When you scroll over text, Clipmarks highlights it and allows you to clip it to an email, to a blog – many CMSes are supported including WordPress and Blogger – to print, or just save. The clips are stored on the Clipmarks server and can be “popped” to the front page to share with other readers.
Amplify is a New York City based start-up founded in 2009. Amplify is a social blogging and curation service that enables people to spark conversation around news, thoughts and ideas they want to share. Using Amplify’s proprietary browser add-on, users can easily clip, share and add their take on text, images, videos and URLs they find on the web. Additionally, they can microblog directly from Amplify or write full blog posts. In addition to PCs, Amplify’s web clipping...