With its update on Monday, the link listing tool Kippt adds social features that make it a one-stop shop for practicing the Internet’s favorite hobby: sharing interesting links. It helps you keep track of links you like, as well as find and follow people who share interesting things. You can easily share links with your friends on Facebook or wherever else, but your list belongs to you instead of disappearing into the Facebook ether. It's the kind of thing you probably won't know you need until you try it.
You can use Kippt to browse and follow users’ public link lists, which can be about anything from iOS development to costume design to bartending. Every list has its own Web address, so you can bookmark it and check back for updates, or you can subscribe by RSS. You can also follow public lists inside Kippt itself, which lets you save links you like to your own lists.
Kippt users can also follow each other, subscribing to all of someone’s lists because they trust that person’s taste. But if your new designer friend - for some inexplicable reason - also maintains a curated list of Justin Bieber videos, you can unsubscribe from that one individually. It’s the same selective subscription model that makes Pinterest work so well, and it’s something Twitter, Facebook and Google+ sorely lack.
Finding & Following
Kippt has a new Discover page for finding interesting lists to follow. It has a curated staff picks section as well as popular and recent lists. The list title is the most prominent info, along with the list maker’s avatar, and below are three example links from the list.
Kippt members now get a bright, clean profile page showing a round picture, short bio, social links and all their public Kippt lists. You can also see which Kippt users a person is following as well as a list of their followers. On this page, you can follow and unfollow this person as well as his or her individual lists.
List pages are simple, with a title and description on the side, as well as the contributor(s). Public Kippt lists can be collaborative, so more than one person can clip things to it. Kippt users can comment on public links, so a list can become a hub for topical conversations.
The list page shows links in chronological order. The title contains the link, and the source can be seen below. The person who clipped the link can add a description, which can be as brief as a note or as involved as a formatted blog post. A Kippt list can be a sort of meta-blog, where the contributor clips interesting things by browser extension, bookmarklet or email and adds a personal reaction.
Your Own Links & Lists
Your home base in your own Kippt account is the inbox view. Since you don’t always have time to decide on a list or clean up a clip, you can just save links to your inbox and organize them later. All your lists, private and public, are shown in the sidebar, with little locks to indicate that a list is private. You can change a list from private to public by editing it, and you can easily share the list out to any other network.
Private lists let you keep track of links all to yourself. This was the core of the service when Kippt first launched. It was an easy tool for people who like to archive things they discover on the Web, and it still is. The new social features of Kippt make it into a community for people who share that passion for digging for Internet treasure.
If you get in the habit of saving links to Kippt and then using the sharing buttons to send them to Facebook or Twitter, you’ll never lose track of that cool thing you shared when you want to find it again. The new Kippt is also just a great way to find interesting links, even if you don’t create your own lists at all.
Why Use Kippt?
We share links for all kinds of reasons. We want to inform or entertain our friends, and we want to be reliable, trusted sources of enjoyable stuff. Kippt is a community for refining those skills. It’s also a tool for keeping track of the links you like most. And unlike Facebook, Kippt makes it easy to take all your links with you when you leave.
When you share a link on a social network, you’re giving its other users something to do. That’s the most valuable thing in the world to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Reddit and any other site that makes its money by showing ads next to things its users have shared.
Kippt doesn’t want your data. It makes its money by charging a small fee for power-user features. Facebook and its ilk will do whatever they like with your links in order to squeeze more ad revenue out of their sidebars. If you use Kippt, you get to keep your links as they were when you found them, and you can click a button to send them to your Facebook friends if you so desire.
Kippt is also open to integrations with other applications, so hopefully we can look forward to ‘Send to Kippt’ buttons in read-it-later applications, RSS readers or Twitter clients. An indie developer has built an iPhone app called Clippt, and it's available now in the App Store for $2.99.