Chris Messina, who invented the now-ubiquitous hashtag has launched a new service that helps with social media management by scouring sites to put together information about users.
The service is called Molly and Messina will be refining the business around it at the famed Y Combinator startup accelerator. According to VentureBeat:
Molly skims your posts on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Medium to learn about you and formulate natural language questions. When someone asks something Molly can’t answer, that question is sent to the Molly app for you to answer yourself.
In addition to following your social media activity, the Molly app asks you to answer questions about yourself, like “Do you own an Amazon Echo?” or “Do you have a sweet tooth or a savory tooth?”
The more you swipe through the questions, the more Molly learns about you, and the more you learn about how your friends have answered similar questions.
Early Molly adopters include cofounders of companies like Imgur, Stripe, Product Hunt, and others, as well as a number of well-known startup investors and tech journalists. Profile requests can be made at molly.com.
The service, at least in theory, makes social media management easier by pulling together the information spread across numerous accounts and aggregating it into a unified online persona. The need for such a program has arisen, Messina says, because of the incompatibility of one social media service to another.
“Having worked at Google Plus and seen how big companies tend to struggle with social, it seems like going out and building a startup in this space was the best way to try to get ahead and take advantage of this shift in consumer behavior,” he said. “To try to build a social platform that understands people, how they ask questions, and the types of answers they’re looking for allows us to build up ideally a very useful and valuable dataset that we make available to our users to give them something back for all the content they’ve contributed to the social web over time.”