When we last spent time with RateItAll – roughly 18 months ago – the service had just released a Flash-based widget designed to help extend its reach to blogs. Today, we’re checking back in with the company as it rolls out a new look-and-feel, accompanied by a number of new features designed to facilitate recommendations on practically any topic imaginable – while increasing the social aspects of the site for its growing user base.
As any aficionado of the social Web knows, one of the biggest benefits of social networking is the opportunity to access hundreds – if not thousands – of opinions with a couple of keystrokes.
Any number of sites have made a business of focusing on a singular topic – like movies, music, or restaurants – and helping users manage social recommendations within that niche. Some sites, like Yelp, have chosen to cover a broader range of topics, like retail outlets that cover anything from restaurants to shopping. But few have taken social recommendations to the extent of RateItAll, a site that eschews the niche focus in favor of giving its users the option of rating anything and everything.
Now, RateItAll has released a number of new features to increase the social interaction among its users, including a new feed format which allows users to follow streams of reviews based on keywords and compatibility quizzes – similar to the ever-prevalent Facebook quizzes – which allow RateItAll users to meet other users with similar interests. In short, the latest version of RateItAll is designed to help people find their peers – and to share their reviews with people who share similar interests.
Founded in 1999, RateItAll claims to have “one of the largest collections of consumer-generated content in the world.” Lately, it has seen growth in its user base and dataset, a 44% increase since midyear 2008. But, even with its breadth of content, RateItAll hasn’t seen the exponential growth of some of its younger – and more focused – competition.
Managed by a small team, the site has already managed to deliver a nice set of features and some compelling content areas. Now, all it needs is the increased user base to take advantage of the offerings. It will be interesting to see if these new social features – plus access to a new API which has the potential to deliver more content to the site – spark some of that exponential growth for RateItAll.
To register for the service, share your opinions, and try the new features, visit RateItAll.