Socialstream Features

Aggregated Social Content

All your contacts in one place

Aggregation allows users to have access to a more complete representation of their social network, as a benefit of the USN.

“I deleted my profile from Friendster because I couldn't deal with 2 sites. With this I could have consolidated it in this way, but [instead] I grew out of touch with people—I could have kept Friendster and consolidated it. It would have been useful” (U17)

Know when your contacts post new updates

Aggregation lets us focus on people to support the need that users just want to keep up with eachother. An overview of the new content in a user's network lets them find out the people they care about, without having to search to find updates.

These are the “links to most recent posts or something—that's nice, I really like that” (U17, also U28, U32)


Discover what's important with an interactive visualization

The timeline affords exploration and discovery of content that a user might not otherwise see. With the focus on recent updates, users wanted to know how to get to older posts; the timline presents content the context of other posts.

“That works, it's better than a list. I like that. It's more convenient. It would make it easier for me to manage my stuff. You could see when someone didn't post for awhile and when they catch up.” (U11)

“This is a lot more helpful than just seeing your own page - I like that I don't have to go searching for it” (U30)


Browse by contact

The contact list is a structured method of viewing updates, so if a user is interested in a particular person they can navigate directly. Content icons indicate new content and expand to show post titles so a user can idenfity content they want to view.

If I have less time, I can see what I want to read ahead of time. (U19)

I would use the icons to know when I should check someone else's stream. (U11)

“Nice...You can actually see if your friends are online!” (U32)

Sharing Without Barriers

A variety of content types, all from one location.

Socialstream supports different content types for the participating sites, so users can post the type of content that they relate to.

“That's cool. I would use my flickr more if I could deal with everything in one window. I would write in my blogs more equally. I would really use the Share With option, because each of my blogs are for different people. This is the most convenient thing ever.” (U11)

“I would post and broadcast a lot. That's what I'm good for.” (U22)

Supports different levels of sharing

Socialstream lowers barriers to sharing with different levels of sharing. Posts can be marked as favorites, and users can read their friends' favorites as a way to keep up with them. 'Post about' supports the idea of post conversations and trackbacks. Posts can also be sent directly to a contact or commented on.

Favorites I want to read favorites from my friends (U17, U32), and keep my own list of favorites. (U13, U14, U17, U20)

Post About This “A lot of people would want to respond. [Post about this] is a bolder statement, and would be seen easier so it would get more of a response, especially pictures” (U30)

Send to Contact I like to send content directly to people, or have them send content directly to me. (U2, U3, U4, U9)

Publisher Feedback

Track viewers of content and new comments

As a publisher, users want to know what happens with their information. Users can view when their friends view their posts and know about new comments that have been made on their page.

“Oh that's interesting, it shows other people that have read it” (U32)

I want to know when I have new messages or comments (U4, U5, U21)

“I like that, it's a lot easier and not overwhelming—and it lists how many there are” (U30)

Users Can Help Each Other

Create a starter stream

A social network becomes valuable if the people who are important to you are in it. Through invitations, Socialstream supports pre-populating with contacts to help in the setup process so when a friend logs in they already have someone in their network.

I want to be informed about new services and I rely on family members to introduce me to new technologies(U1)

I create accounts for family members so they can see my Snapfish photos (U2)