CHNL partners with Groupon, LivingSocial to curate more than the social Web

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One day the only tab on your browser that you’ll need open is CHNL.it, or so its founder says. CHNL is a social content discovery browser, a one-stop shop for all the news that your friends or subscriptions are sharing, complete with the increasingly familiar tiled format popularized by Pinterest that’s taken the Internet by storm. While the platform launched with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social media integrations, CHNL today announced its partnership with two of the leading daily deals sites, Groupon and LivingSocial, in its first step to expand outside of the scope of just social curation.

Most content surfacing on your CHNL feed aggregates all shared stories in one place. With daily deal sites Groupon and Living Social now in the picture, these platforms too will show up on “Your Social Content” but you can filter out types of content by source — however, it’s worth noting that the inclusion of the daily deals content make it feel a bit like banner ads are infiltrating your social stream. 

This might make you jump to the conclusion that CHNL is sacrificing the user experience with these partners. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Groupon and Livingsocial partnerships equal revenue, which we pointed out to CHNL CEO John Wander. Now that CHNL is partnered with Groupon and LivingSocial, the social aggregation site is an affiliate partner and will generate some revenue through referral traffic.

He didn’t deny the observation, but instead made it clear that their deals weren’t actually motivated by money. It wasn’t even Wander’s idea. “Groupon and LivingSocial are a direct result of us listening to our users and implementing content sources they wished to have in their CHNL,” he says. In fact affiliates were “not intended as a part of the original revenue model for us.”

To CHNL’s credit, users have to opt in before they’re able to see Groupon and LivingSocial deals in case its users would prefer a daily dose of the standard social media news delivered to their CHNL. 

Groupon and LivingSocial aren’t the only partnerships that CHNL will introduce. Wander has a lofty vision for the company and says that “someday, we hope CHNL is the only tab on your browser you’ll ever need to have open.” 

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