CircleMe is an interesting and beautiful take on the phenomenon of “liking” the web, popularized by Facebook, allowing you to curate items of interest into a centralized place, explore new items you may like, and even set to-do’s based on your newly-found interests.
To begin, CircleMe asks you to import your likes from Facebook, thankfully allowing you to be selective in which likes are imported. There are also importers for Goodreads, Netflix, and Foursquare, allowing you to curate your most-beloved books, movies, television shows, and venues. To start importing, simply hover over the “account” button, and click on “import likes” from the resulting menu. You can also connect your account to Gmail or Twitter, although it’s not clear what extra functionality this adds to the experience.
Once your likes are imported, CircleMe presents you with a list of your likes on your profile page, headed by a seemingly random image prominently displaying your most recent interest. If you prefer, you can minimize the image. The list can be sorted chronologically or alphabetically, and can also be viewed by type, ie. places, books, etc. You can also manually add likes on this page.
Clicking on the “Inbox” button at the top of the page presents an interesting feature. Initially, this takes you to a standard inbox, where friends can send you standard messages. By clicking on the “new suggestion” button, you can suggest new items of interest to friends, and see the items suggested to you.
Clicking on the “Explore” button allows you to find new items of interest, presenting you with a selection of stories or users, although it’s not clear how these are selected. There’s also a “Hyped Topics” and “Popular Topics” section. Once you find something that interests you, clicking on it will display a short description of the item, along with the options to add it to your own interests, add it as a to-do, or suggest it to other users. You’ll also see stories on the subject to the right of your interest, and related items to the bottom.
Lastly, clicking the dotted icon on the menubar will display the activities of your friends, and what they’re currently “into.”
The trend of content recommendation is baked into nearly every startup to hit the web in the past year, so to differentiate your app, a company must find a new and unique way to tackle this problem. CircleMe does just that, and is a fascinating and gorgeous way to discover new and interesting things and share them with your digital peeps.
CircleMe is currently in invite-only beta. If you’re one of my Facebook friends, you’re already in- simply sign up with your Facebook account. If not, send me an email for an invite.