Simple sharing service Posterous is shedding its blog origins in favor of becoming a full-featured social network.
The startup has dramatically redesigned its website, overhauled its user dashboard and vamped up its iPhone app with a retooled focus on private sharing. The new Posterous even has a new name: Posterous Spaces.
Posterous Spaces merges the startup's two products â€” sites and groups â€” into one unified experience with a glossy new look and a stronger emphasis on sharing, social networking and content discovery.
"The idea," says Posterous founder and CEO Sachin Agarwal, "is that you can create as many Posterous Spaces as you want, and they can be public or private â€¦ a family space, a photo space, a club space, a work space, whatever it may be."
As for why the startup's rolling out these changes: "People really love using Posterous because they can control how they share and who sees what they're sharing," Agarwal says. Posterous Spaces, he says, is the result of an 8-month-long re-envisioning process inspired by how members were using its Groups product.
Posterous's 15 million users will log in Monday to find a restructured dashboard, sticking them right into a Reader tab. The tab serves as a feed of all content posted and shared by individuals the user is following. Posterous users have always been able to follow one another, but the Reader view is designed to ease following shared content.
The dashboard also has Popular, Activity and Spaces tabs for access to top public content, real-time activity across the user's Spaces and Spaces administration, respectively.
Posterous for iPhone now replicates the entire new Spaces experience on mobile. "The iPhone application is a big effort to encapsulate all of the functionality on Posterous," says Agarwal.
While site owners and group owners can continue posting and sharing as usual (for the most part), Posterous Spaces is a pretty radical departure from the status quo.
Instead of proffering users a blogging platform or a groups product, Posterous has become its own bona fide social network â€” a Facebook with an emphasis on private sharing or a Google+ with Spaces instead of Circles, if you will. You may even see a strong resemblance to Tumblr, though Posterous might fight you on that comparison.
"We're building this for normal users," says Agarwal. "This is how normal users want to share."
We'll let you be the judge of that. Let us know what you think of the new Posterous in the comments.
Author: / Posted: 13-09-2011