1. Social discovery
3. Social commerce
5. Crowdsourcing and categorisation
6. Freemium and subscription models
7. Niche social networks
8. Location-based apps
On an increasingly noisy web, where it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information we’re confronted with on a daily basis, hand-picked recommendations by experts are playing an increasingly crucial role in helping us to find what we want or need.
As Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, puts it: “We have over-indexed on machines and algorithms doing all of our recommendations. People that we trust will help us find our way in an over-communicated world – a web with too many choices, too much noise and not enough signal. Humans will rule again!”
Founded in 2010, Stylistpick is a good example. The start-up gets users to complete a short questionnaire to identify their ‘style profile’ (from one of six). A team of stylists, including Arabella Greenhill, fashion editor for Marie Claire, then curates a range of shoes and accessories each month based on this profile, which are then showcased in personalised showroom. Each item costs £39.95, which users can either pay as a monthly subscription, entitling them to one item per month plus extra perks, or pay as they go.
The start-up is going from strength to strength, raising $11m in venture capital investment in February 2012, and enjoying a big PR boost after convincing former X Factor star Cheryl Cole to design an exclusive collection.