The Idea: Ever wonder which websites your friends are visiting? Meebo users can now check-in to websites and let their friends know what they’re reading.
Sound familiar? If you know how Foursquare works, you’ll understand Meebo’s idea.
Similar to Foursquare, folks who visit a site frequently get a special title. Foursquare calls them “mayors” — at Meebo, they become “VIPs.”
Here’s how it works: After you create a public profile and download the Meebo MiniBar browser extension, you can let friends know which websites you’re on by clicking a check-in button at the bottom of every web page. The name of the site you’re on will appear in your public profile along with any pieces of content and comments you make. You can also follow other users who check into the same places you do and send them messages. Publishers can also tell who their most loyal readers are by seeing everyone who is a VIP.
Whose idea: Meebo
Why it’s brilliant: Sure, people already share links on Twitter and other social networks. But those blasts only reach our immediate social circles. Meebo check-ins will bring popular links to users on a broader scale.
For example, say you want to learn about great biking tours, but you’re having trouble finding information about that topic online. None of your friends share that interest, so they can’t help you either. But if you find one decent article, you can use Meebo check-ins to look at what other readers, who have similar biking interests, have also researched. Those people can refer you to other articles you never would have stumbled across otherwise.
The reason content check-ins will be most valuable, however, is the same reason location check-ins are valuable. They will enable publishers to reward loyal readers. Meebo’s check-ins point publishers towards all their VIP users; publishers can then offer perks such as discounts or specialised content to valued customers.
Users will reap these benefits while publishers can target users with content or promotions that resemble their check-in history. Meebo web check-ins are just one more way the web is going social, and it’s the best idea we’ve seen in a while.
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