Curation and discovery service Pearltrees just announced the launch of its premium accounts. For $4.99/month or $49.99 per year, Pearltrees users will be able to create private pearls for their bookmarks, notes and pictures. This is also Pearltrees’ 1.0 release and marks the first time that all of the company’s apps offer a fully coherent feature set across the web and mobile.
Private collections have long been on Pearltrees’ roadmap. As CEO Patrice Lamothe told me earlier this week, the company’s users have long been asking for this feature. The rationale behind charging for private collections is quite interesting: free users contribute to the community, which is built around topics and discovery. By keeping their collections private, users don’t pay into the system and don’t provide value for other uses and Pearltrees itself. In addition to private collections, users also get the ability to set up private teams and access to premium support.
For free users, Pearltrees is also now bringing the distraction-free reading mode from the mobile apps to the web, and users can now upload images and create text notes on the web as well.
Pearltrees, Lamothe told me, currently features about 30 million pearls. The community has about 700,000 contributors and the site gets 2 million unique visitors per month. With this, Lamothe believes, the service has now reached the critical mass necessary to cover virtually every topic in English.
Looking ahead, the problem the company now faces is what to do with all of this data now that the product and community are mature. Some of the obvious next steps are adding support for new devices and platforms like Android and Windows 8. Pearltrees is also thinking about letting users store PDF and sound files on the service, and an API should be available soon.
More importantly, though, it needs to figure out how to best use the implicit interest graph that all of its users have created.