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Dec 16, 2008

CLIP: Vator.tv gets a centralized, Twitter-like news feed

Posted by Josh Lowensohn

Vator.tv, the "YouTube for start-ups" has a new feature going live on Tuesday morning that lets companies post short updates to their Vator.tv-hosted information pages. Similar to Twitter, the messages are limited to just a few hundred characters and other Vator users are simply able to follow a company to keep tabs on what it's doing.

Companies with access can post new updates anytime they'd like, and interact directly with users who can reply in the threaded commented section below each item. Vator has borrowed a page from Facebook in letting users get notified of any changes companies have made, be it edits or additions to the company pages.

Vator Co-founder and CEO Bambi Francisco told me her company isn't trying to replace the idea of the company blog, company Twitter profiles, or online customer support solutions like Get Satisfaction with this news feed. Instead she says it's an attempt to give people a simpler way to keep up with any changes companies have made, while giving the companies a more structured place to post information where they might already be doing so.

Vator has already been testing this out with a handful of companies for the past two weeks. New sign-ups to the service get an offer to sign-up for these companies' updates right from the get go, and all of the information is fed straight into their dashboard.

One thing that's missing, and something Francisco tells me is planned in a future release, is a way to take this stream of information elsewhere. For the time being the only place to get it is in your e-mail in-box through notifications, or on Vator's company pages, both things designed to keep users coming back.

Vator now lets companies post status updates that other users can respond to. The service also tracks changes companies have made to profiles.

(Credit: CNET Networks)

Vator.tv Lets Startups Tell Their Stories 

from ReadWriteWeb by 

vator_tv_logo.pngVator.tv, a social media site for entrepreneurs, announced a micro-blogging service for startups today that allows these companies to update their followers about the latest developments at their companies. This micro-blogging service works similar to Twitter, though the character limit has been raised from 140 to 280. Currently, only ten companies are using this feature during the alpha program, as Vator.tv was worried about potential scalability issues. These ten companies are Occipital, Nimbuzz, Blippr, Indaba Music, Crispy Gamer, Wize, Ignighter, Famplosion, Vayyoo, and Buzzd. Vator.tv expects to roll out a larger beta program within the next month.

From Video to Micro-Blogging

Since its inception in 2007, Vator.tv mostly focused on video, but, as Kedric Van de Carr, Vator.tv's VC of Marketing and Business Development, told us, adding micro-blogging to Vator.tv's arsenal of features was a logical next step. According to Van der Carr, Vator.tv wants to give entrepreneurs the option to give frequent updates about their company that would usually not be worth a press release or even a post on the company blog.

vator_company_interface.pngOn Vator.tv, you can now follow these companies and their updates will appear in your 'my Vator' tab. Looking at the stream right now, it seems like the companies in the alpha program are making good use of the service and often use it to get input from the community.

Competition for Twitter?

Vator.tv considers itself as a competitor to social networks like Twitter and company blogs, but according to Van der Carr, one of the main advantages of Vator.tv is that it can tell companies who exactly their followers are. Vator.tv gives its users statistics about its followers, including whether they are students, investors, or business owners.

We have seen a lot of specialized social networks lately that weren't very interesting, but judging from the reaction of the companies' in the alpha program, Vator.tv looks like it may have hit upon a nerve within the startup community.

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