The way Vizify CEO Todd Silverstein sees it, social media pages are “cluttered, ugly and noisy.” In other words, the layout and design of most pages just don’t make you look good. Vizify today is setting out to change that, launching a new service that sucks in your profile pages from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare and mashes them together into a dynamic graphical visualation of who you are and where you came from.
“Our mission is to be the easiest, most sophisticated tool for showing the best of you,” says Silverstein, a graduate of both the TechStars Seattle and Portland Seed Fund incubation programs.
I’ve been playing around with Vizify over the past 24 hours, and the service (as you can see in my profile page above) is clean and user friendly. It injests information about you, from hometown to educational background to recent photos you’ve uploaded to Facebook. It also includes a timeline of your Tweets, so you can easily scroll back over what you’ve said in the past. (This reminded me a bit of Seattle’s Intersect, as well as Facebook’s own Timeline feature).
The key question, however, is why would someone want to create yet another online social destination when Facebook already has more than 800 million users? Silverstein says that people feel as if their identities are “fragemented across the web,” but he doesn’t view the Vizify service as a way to consolidate profiles in one spot.
“We believe that we’re rapidly approaching a point where the average person generates more day-to-day content — or has accumulated so much content — that it’s no longer manageable … to be curated entirely manually,” Silverstein tells GeekWire. “You’re seeing just the start of our larger vision of being a kind of ambient guardian/personal stylist for your online self.”
Of course, Facebook also sees itself that way, though some users have begun to question the company’s trustworthiness in terms of privacy. Silverstein added that Vizify’s approach is different from the Facebook Timeline feature, which pushes out all of the content that you produce. And he said that the social networking powerhouse is great for displaying profiles to people who know you already, but doesn’t work as well for those who might be coming across your profile page for the first time.
“We think of our graphical bios as an online equivalent of an elevator pitch. A bite sized encapsulation of what makes you awesome,” Silverstein tells GeekWire.
So, how does Vizify plan to make money?
At this stage it is a”freemium” model, with users able to sign up for free accounts. In the near future, the company plans to introduce premium services so that users can customize their designs and get access to new visualizations.
Based in Portland, Vizify raised $1.2 million earlier this year from a number of leading Seattle area angel investors. Participants in the round included Voyager Capital’s Bill McAleer, BigDoor chief design officer Matt Shobe, Seattle super angels Geoff Entress and Bill Bryant, former Qpass CEO Chase Franklin, venture capitalist Tim Draper and Picnik co-founder Jonathan Sposato. (Editor’s note: Sposato also is an investor in GeekWire).
During the company’s test period, Silverstein said that Vizify was mainly used by social media marketers and job seekers who were looking to boost their online presence. But he thinks that makeup of users will change over time.
“We believe that as more and more face-to-face interactions and meetings shift online, the growing awareness that other people are looking for you online first will make having a better online presentation a necessity not a luxury,” he said.
Here’s Silverstein’s initial pitch at TechStars’ DEMO day last year.