There’s a browser add-on with over 8 million users worldwide and it’s set to change the way new online content is discovered. Flipora, a SunnyVale, California startup, recommends web content based on which sites a user visits, how long they stay on each page, and whether or not they share the page.
The Inner Workings
Once a user registers with Flipora and enables their browser based add-on, their web history becomes searchable from any computer. By saving the web history of its over 8 million users, Flipora then makes recommendations to others users similar to how Amazon recommends its users items when it suggests “users who bought product A, also bought product B” or the way YouTube recommends users other videos to the side of the video they are in the process of watching.
Flipora users are recommended pages through a sidebar that appears in the browser. When a user clicks on a particular recommendation, then the recommendations change. If the user ends up “liking” a certain page, then it gets added to their Flipora profile.
Take It From The Top
It was late in 2010 that the startup was able to raise $3 million although until that moment, the then named Infoaxe, was comprised of only two full time employees, its co-founders Jonathan Siddharth and Vijay Krishnan. The rest were part-time engineers working remotely. This was how they were able to build the robustness into the add-on.
With the concern of users’ privacy, Flipora says it doesn’t share data with third parties and mentions that a user’s web history is by default, private. Also, users are able to select what to share and what not to share. There’s a “record” button that users are able to turn on and off depending on what they are interested in sharing. In addition to these settings, users can create a “block list” of sites that will not be recorded even if you happen to visit the site with your record button “on.”
The “block list” is part of your browser, and not part of the Flipora database.
Where Is Flipora Headed?
Krishnan believes that the future of search and recommendation is headed towards the idea of a “Discovery Engine” that understands the interests of users. “We believe Discovery to be the natural evolution of web search itself. Web search works only when you know what you’re looking for and you know it exists.”
He adds, “With our Discovery Engine, we can automatically push the most relevant websites to a user at the right time when she’s in the mood for it. With web history search, Flipora makes it easy for users to keep track of the great websites they discover and the data generated by this will continue to improve the discovery engine.”
Siddharth and Krishnan believe that this algorithmic method of discovering is a more desireable way to discover content than social discovery. Using Facebook and Twitter to share information, they say, may limit what a person shares. What’s considered uninteresting to friends or politically sensitive to friends may not make it to Facebook or Twitter but it will make to Flipora.
For the founders of Flipora, this is the key to seach and discovery, and it’s the future.