The tagging and link-sharing market has no shortage of competition, but that doesn’t seem to be deterring many developers. Mento, which has just launched in an invite-only beta, is the latest to arrive on the scene, sporting a very well designed site and a number of options that make sharing links a breeze.
Beyond the features typically found on tagging sites, Mento strives to simplify sharing links with friends by allowing users to import and interact with their Facebook contacts. The site also differentiates itself by keeping track of how many times a link you’ve shared has been clicked, and which members have clicked it.
Mento can be used either with bookmarklets in your browser’s toolbar or as an extension that appears as a button (available for both Firefox and IE). The extension isn’t intrusive, but it doesn’t seem to offer much extra functionality over the bookmarklet at this point (though this will likely change in the future).
Mento’s main goal is to provide a lightweight solution for easy sharing, bookmarking, and tagging. After clicking on the bookmarklet, a small browser window pops up, asking if you’d like to Send, Save, or comment on a page. The Send form features a handy autocomplete for your contacts, though you can manually enter email addresses. The Save form leaves a bookmark and description of the page on your Mento profile page for future reference.
Mento facilitates link sharing by allowing you to publish links to del.icio.us, FriendFeed, Magnolia, Tumblr, and Twitter. There’s also a Facebook app that allows friends to view and comment on links without having to install the application themselves (a rarity these days).
Mento’s CEO Gregor Hochmuth is quick to acknowledge the obvious comparison to del.icio.us, explaining that Mento takes the del.icio.us model and improves on it by including robust sharing support. In practice, the sharing functionality does work well, especially when you’ve imported your friends from Facebook. But a number of other sites, such as Zigtag and Yoono, have very similar offerings. Only time will tell if Mento will melt under the pressure, or if it’ll stay fresh, cool, and full of life.
You can get one of the 500 invites here.