A young UK-based startup called Favilous has joined the crowded social bookmarking space. It hopes to differentiate itself from the legions of existing bookmarking services by building a community behind the bookmarks, so users can share descriptions of sites and help each other discover new online destinations (see a clip from one of their tour slides below).
On the site, users can see other users’ popular bookmarks as well as the most popular bookmarks in various categories, including “Top Sites” and picks for categories such as food, entertainment, and travel. Once you sign up, you pick a number of categories, for example, blogs or music, that are of interest to you. Favilous populates the top sites in each of those categories, and to edit this list, you need to expand the category to see “all sites” and narrow it down from there, or else enter in a URL manually.
At this point, there is no way to transfer bookmarks directly from a browser upon registration, but that is about two weeks away, according to founder Steve Whyley. Right now, it seems a bit too manual to me, and that may be why the service hasn’t seen much pickup, accumulating just under 200 users in about a week.
The company also plans to add customized theme pages in the coming weeks as well as the ability to integrate social networking profiles so you can easily share bookmarks with your friends.
The company plans to make money in 3 ways: by licensing the API to businesses and allowing them to customize Favilous for their own needs; by creating a subscription model to bookmark music playlists (they have reached out to Spotify to allow users to bookmark their playlists); and to possibly look at affiliate relationships and advertise to users, although they are hesitant to do that at this time.
The site is better looking than a lot of its competitors, but whether or not it will make for a better social bookmarking experience won’t be evident until the promised features roll out in the next couple of weeks.
Favilous was founded by Whyley and Mike Doyle. Competitors include Pinboard, Instapaper, which charges for its iPhone app but not for use of its site, and Delicious, which is free. Favilous is self-funded.