More and more, news consumption is happening online and on mobile devices. But there’s so much news on the Web today, many have turned to filters and aggregators to concentrate the fire hose of information. Whether we rely on social mechanisms like Twitter and Facebook or RSS feeds, we’re looking for an enhanced, social, and refined way to consume content from the sites we love, while discovering news that matters to us via sites we may not check as regularly.
XYDO, a startup that launched last month, is getting in on the social news game by combining parts of the visual interface and user experience of Digg and Hacker News to create a full-blown social network for news. But what XYDO is focusing on most intently, which makes it a bit different from other services out there, is offering a news feed that prioritizes the content that matters to you.
Today, it’s important for sites of this ilk not just to be news aggregators, but social services that serve you with content that is based on your interests and preferences, curating and categorizing news from your social networks. They have to be ever-refreshing, pulling news from myriad sources, but remain relevant, and allow for discovery of broad news as well as socially relevant topics recommended by friends and peers. Easier said than done.
To build a news aggregating network that is more 3.0 than 2.0, XYDO gathers news from tens of thousands of online sources, along with news being shared within the XYDO community, and allows users to authenticate their Facebook and Twitter accounts so that the site can track the articles being shared on these social networks by your friends and peers. Those stories are displayed on your personal news feed and are then scored, prioritized, and organized in groups based on your likes and interests.
The goal is an important one in the age of the 24-hour news cycle, and in practice, XYDO’s design is intuitive and familiar. But, as it goes, without some financial support, the service becomes just another social news aggregator. So, today, the company announced that it has raised a $1.25 million round of seed funding led by led by EPIC Ventures, with contributions from angel investors in San Francisco, New York, and Salt Lake City. XYDO will use its funds to create and launch mobile apps, productize, and expand its Utah-based team.
XYDO, which was co-founded by Eric Roach (who founded Lombard Brokerage and was previously CEO of Elance.com) and Cameron Brain (founder of ProDeal and Open Box Technologies), is currently processing more than 1.1M Twitter and Facebook user feeds in realtime and has more than 1M contributors curating articles each day.
The combination of not only providing users with a prioritized view of articles, editorials, blogs and other news from their social graphs, but also enabling easy tracking of broad global news trends and specialized domain-specific trends, with verticals ranging from startups and Wikileaks to The Onion, is killer. But it will take scaling, a truly simple user interface, and a smooth mobile experience to set it apart from the competition.
For a quick rundown of XYDO, check out the video below: