I can guarantee that this scenario has happened to the majority of Facebookers who’ve used it regularly for the past year or two: You log on, and one of the top few news feed items is about an acquaintance who just broke up with her boyfriend, since her relationship status now reads “Single” — or in some cases, “It’s Complicated.” You glance over it with some curiosity, but tens of other friends have already began flooding said friend’s wall, with questioning comments like, “What happened?”, “Are you okay?”,”Who broke up with who?”, or “Do I need to kick a certain jerk’s ass?”
Your only question, at this point, might be, “Who cares?”
Having your social life summarized into Facebook status updates is like having a gossip magazine that’s auto-curated to revolve around your social circle, so the Bay Area-based startup The Taploid has decided to monetize on just that. The Web app will summarize all the juicy details of your friends’ lives and convert them into a tabloid-style e-magazine, complete with sensational headlines, social media share buttons, and a vote to Yay or Nay each news item. You know, all the indulgent, guilty pleasure crap we get from trashy gossip magazines.
For example, if your friend gets engaged, a news item may pop up to say “Scott put a ring on it!” — complete with a photo of the happy couple Taploid can find of the two tagged fiancés. On the other hand, if a friend is single and Taploid sees that his wall posts repeatedly contain terms like “party,” “drunk,” “beer,” and his check-in’s are often with various single girls, the app might assume your friend is something of a player — and call him out for it. Instead of a vertical news feed interface, Taploid sends you an email of a horizontal slideshow which summarizes major events and gossips. According to Taploid, this is not only fun for the users, but will help them see Facebook statuses more clearly.
“Did you know? Only 16 percent of your friends sees [sic] your FB updates,” Taploid tweets. “The Taploid will change that. You’ll always be in the know.”
Taploid believes that by getting people to view more status updates, people can be more aware of when friends discuss brands and use this as leverage for companies to promote through the app. The startup, founded by entrepreneurs Redg Snodgrass and Andrew Scott, has currently raised $200,000 with the hopes of more in Series A funding to create an accompanying mobile app.
While everything Taploid is doing seems logical, you can’t help but roll your eyes at the concept. Sure, it’s quasi-funny, but there can only be so many headlines for the same news event before the idea gets old. How many breakups are you expecting your social circle to experience? How often do your friends graduate college, or get new jobs? These aren’t daily occurrences, so unless your life is that exciting, we can’t imagine a personalized Taploid to be all that interesting to read on a regular basis. In terms of privacy, adding Taploid is like adding another friend on Facebook, which gives the app the ability to see your friends’ semi-public posts. If your close friends have their privacy restrictions extremely tightened up, you won’t be able to see many news item about them at all … and who wants to read fake tabloid headlines, especially ones about friends you haven’t spoken to in months?
The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.