When Tim Sae Koo was a student at USC, he and a few classmates wanted to create a way to make web discovery more efficient and meaningful.Hypemarks, their startup, launched yesterday. The five-person startup is currently based in Los Angeles and it’s backed by Bill Gross’ Idealab.
Bill Gross discovered Hypemarks at StartEngine Demo Day and reached out to Koo.
Hypemarks aggregates tweets, pictures and links from celebrities and influencers across a number of topics; readers can scan a single Pinterest-like page to learn about an industry in a snapshot.
If you look at the Athletes vertical on Hypemarks, for example, you’ll find news shared by Venus Williams, Chrtiano Ronaldo, and Tony Hawk. If you look at the Musicians page you’ll find updates from Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber and Diddy.
Hypemarks resembles Paul Berry’s RebelMouse, which aggregates your personal social media activity on a single page. On RebelMouse, you can learn about specific people; on Hypemarks you can learn about specific industries.
“Instead of creating a new sharing behaviour, we live on top of Twitter and Facebook,” Koo explains. “We’ve created a visual way to make stuff easier to consume and organise online.”
Hypemarks has scraped social media accounts for 100 influencers, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. If you look at Hypemarks’ “popular” page, for example, it’s dominated by Justin Bieber. Hypemarks needs a better way to curate the most popular posts being shared among multiple influencers.
It also needs to better utilise the interest graph, so when users look at Musicians after signing into Hypemarks with Facebook, they’re flooded with updates from musicians they actually like.
But Hypemarks only a day old, so it’s off to a pretty good start.
Hypemarks does let you choose who to follow, and you can scan those people’s feeds on the “Following” page. You can also add your own stories to Hypemarks. Like Pinterest, Hypemarks tells you how many times your links have been shared.
Here’s what Hypemarks looks like (click to expand):