About.me Launches Collections, A Pinterest For People

The folks at About.me have been busy since it spun out of Aol. A spin-out often puts the wind back in your sails, and the team, led by Tony Conrad and Ryan Freitas has not been content to idle.

Instead they are iterating on product, today launching Collections for all About.me profiles. Users can now find About.me Collections in the drop-down menu on their home page. Clicking on the link will bring them to two pre-populated Collections — Twitter Friends and Facebook Friends.

While it’s kind of nice to see those two social graphs away from their primary platform, the use case for About.me Collections versus Twitter Lists, Facebook Groups, or any other way you can bookmark personal connections, has yet to be proven. Pinterest is full of beautiful photos of things you wish you owned, instead you can “own” them on the Pinterest. Do people want the same functionality for their friends, family and/or Internet acquaintances?

Do people want the same functionality for their friends, family and/or Internet acquaintances?

To create a new About.me collection, select “New Collection” on your collections page, and title it whatever you want: “People who always wear blue”; “My team“; “People who look like their dogs”; etc.Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 10.38.54 AM
Then you can either use the About.me  search or the +1 button over each page to create a new collection, add people to pre-existing Collections or Favorites, or pay them a compliment on their page like “Well written” or “Great photo.” Collections you’ve been added to will now appear in your About.me timeline and, like Pinterest, you can browse other people’s collections for discovery.

About.me CEO Tony Conrad tells me that he built the feature because About.me users demanded it and argues that there’s a compelling call for it. “The goal of Collections is to make it easy to both discover new people (i.e. if you check out my Collections, you’ll discover Journalists, Artists, Athletes, etc.), as well as bookmark people and categorize them for future reference,” he says, “Early results from our beta test were amazing.”

Conrad also tells me that he’s happy with the metrics since the company left Aol last February.  Product developments like the company’s iOS 7 app and the About.me Dashboard have driven engagement, according to Conrad.

The site is about to reach over 100 million profile views this month versus 4 million pre-spin out — with mobile users averaging 25+ profile views a second. Registered users have grown to 4.1 million, up from 1.8 million last February. Around 41% of users (around 1.7 million) logged in this past month. He wouldn’t share DAUs.

About.me has raised $5.7 million, led by True Ventures (where Conrad is a partner) and followed by SoftTech VC, Google Ventures, CrunchFund (yes, CrunchFund, some relation) and others.

After enjoying a $35 million exit, it is a labor of love for Conrad, his partner Freitas and the About.me team.