If you step away from your social networks for a day or two, as I recently did, you may experience FOMO (fear of missing out; yes, it's a real thing). I've always used Flipboard's fantastic "cover stories" feature to quickly catch up, but a new solution has emerged with a slightly different take.
Nuzzel is a simple service that shows you the stories that your friends across Facebook and Twitter have been sharing in the most recent past. Once you connect those accounts, Nuzzel scours them for links. It then shows you which links have been shared most often on your networks.
The stories are presented with a brief overview and a bit of context, like the specific tweets that led to Nuzzle including the story in the first place. There are also buttons that allow you share the item directly from Nuzzle, and, if you connect your Pocket or Instapaper accounts, you can save the article to those services without leaving the page. You can even reply to, favorite, or retweet the original tweet.
Note that I can't say whether or not you'll have the option to interact with stories supplied by Facebook, since I didn't see any. If your Facebook friends are anything like mine (sharing only memes and such, and no actual stories), you probably won't, either.
You can filter your feed to only stories for a certain time frame, like the past 24 hours, two days ago, or last week.
Clicking on the link gives you more context, if you click on one of the article thumbnails at the top of the page. Somewhat unintuitively, clicking on the link in the article list takes you directly to the article's source. That context includes a helpful list of articles liked by those who enjoy the current article in question.
Nuzzel presents your stories in pages of ten, and, at least in my experience, over 40 pages of articles are presented. Oddly, though, I feel no need to flip through the rest, and I'm content with browsing the "front page." I doubt that that's a deliberate intention of Nuzzel's design team, but it does give a pleasant feeling of reaching the edge.
For the most part, Nuzzel sticks to its seemingly core mission of showing you interesting things that you've missed, but it strays from that with one feature. In the sidebar, Nuzzel recommends a few people to follow on Twitter. It feels like an out-of-place feature, but it's also pretty helpful. Twitter isn't very good at recommending people to follow, and when I followed links to Nuzzel's recommendations, I found them to be interesting, thoughtful people. Overall, then, it's a nice feature, even if it does feel extraneous.
Dig into Nuzzel's settings page, and you'll find an option to send yourself a Nuzzel digest every morning, at a time of your choosing. While I generally try to keep my inbox clean, I've found this to be a useful feature, too. In fact, it reminded me of how much I've missed Summify (which provided a similar service) since Twitter bought it early last year.
Granted, the aesthetic could use some work. It feels very 2009, and certainly the Nuzzel team isn't going to win any design awards. It is, however, clean and simple, and lets the content do most of the talking. If you need a simple way to catch up on what your networks have been talking about, Nuzzel is definitely worth a shot. It's in "experimental" beta at the moment, but I've got a few invites to throw out to Sssimpli readers. If you want one, just send me an email from the email address you'll use to sign up.
Update: an earlier version of this article instructed readers to tweet a request for an invite, but Nuzzel uses email addresses for the invite mechanism and not, as I thought, Twitter handles.