RebelMouse, the social media aggregator founded by former Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry, launched a little more than a week ago. We missed out on covering it (apparently because Berry’s email got lost in a vacationing reporter‘s inbox), but there was still a bunch of articles — and more importantly, plenty of user sign-ups.
Specifically, Berry tells me that 12,000 people have signed up for RebelMouse’s invite-only beta. His team has been working hard to get people off the wait list, so there are now 8,000 active sites. (If you’re too lazy to do the subtraction, that means there are still 4,000 people on the wait list.) Actually, Berry gave me those numbers on Thursday, so I suppose they might actually be a little out-of-date by now, but the point is — more than 10,000 sign-ups, and thousands of live pages. He also says the service is parsing 20 posts per second, creating two stories per second, and that nearly 1 million stories have been posted.
What is it that those users are signing up for? RebelMouse describes itself as your “social front page,” which sounds about right to me. Basically users connect their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and then some of the latest updates are posted in a Pinterest-style collage that represents your social media presence. (To see a couple of examples, you can check out my RebelMouse page, plus RebelMouse’s.) The page creation process is automated, but you can tweak the results, say by deleting updates that you don’t like or sticking important ones to the top of the page. Berry says it’s similar to “seeing yourself in the mirror for the first time” — you probably want to spend a few seconds fixing your hair. There’s also a bookmarklet for sharing content that you find on the Web directly to your RebelMouse page.
In part, Berry says he founded RebelMouse with the needs of publishers in mind, because they’d been asking for an easy way to “deal with social.” So he sounds particularly pleased to see that publications like Mother Jones (where, coincidentally, I interned nearly a decade ago) create RebelMouse pages. On the brand side, Oakley has a page too.
Berry says there are going to be plenty of improvements in the coming weeks and months. First up is deeper integration with Facebook Pages for companies — it’s currently difficult to connect many different Facebook Pages to multiple RebelMouse sites that you can immediately launch and connect to Twitter accounts and contributors. Berry says users will be able to add Pages where they’re an administrator, and then to invite all the other administrators to join RebelMouse too.
Another big goal is to turn the “drafts” area, which currently shows additional content that you could publish to your page, into a full-blown stream of updates from other RebelMouse users have published, which you can browse and republish. The idea, Berry says, is to turn RebelMouse into a site where managing your identity and consuming social content are “super-tightly linked.” He adds that he even considered holding off on the launch until after this feature went live, but ultimately went with launching earlier to get the product into the hands of users.