SlideShare just announced that it now offers businesses the ability to create their own custom channels on the popular document sharing service. These channels allow businesses and enterprises to share their presentations, e-books and whitepapers with a wider audience. Microsoft, Ogilvy, Adobe and Razorfish Marketing are among today's launch partners. The White House also now uses a SlideShare channel to share over 1,000 documents with the public. In addition, you can also find a our own custom ReadWriteWeb channel here.
According to SlideShare's CEO and co-founder Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare current gets over 25 million unique visitors per month.
For now, SlideShare is only offering these new channels to larger businesses. This is clearly part of SlideShare's monetization strategy and fits in well with SlideShare's other business-oriented products like AdShare and LeadShare, both of which are part of SlideShare's strategy to position itself as a site where professionals can share their content and connect with potential customers.
According to Sinha, these custom channels - which include all of the standard social networking features of SlideShare - will allow businesses to create communities around their content and help these companies to engage their customers. Besides sharing slides, these companies will also be able to aggregate content from their blogs or their Twitter feeds on their SlideShare pages.
In addition to offering branded channels with company logos and a custom look and feel, SlideShare now also offers enterprises the ability to sponsor topical channels.
Sadly, though, it doesn't look like the company plans to give regular users the ability to create and curate their own channels anytime soon. Being able to curate topical channels would be a nice feature, but for now, if you want to do this, you will have to resort to embedding SlideShare files on your own site.