The startup scene is growing and the pace is maddening. It’s hardly been six months since I interacted with Amarpreet Kalkat regarding his product, Frrole and the developments that have been made since then are note-worthy.Primarily, Frrole studies Twitter data and weeds out the noise to present the user with the most relevant and popular tweets. Now, from being a ‘tweet listing’ portal, Frrole has moved on to a richer ‘news snippet’ experience. After beta testing and tweaking, the layout which the users have given a thumbs up resembles Pinterest a bit but Frrole includes everything ranging from embedded videos to photos to news summaries. Talking about scaling, from about twenty cities; Frrole now covers 50+ cities across 5 countries.
“With more than double the tweet volume, we are also building country level (UK, India) and world level pages now. There is no need for the user to look at other sources of news for national or global news now, it is right there along with his local news.” says Amarpreet.
With millions of tweets a day, it is a gargantuan task to filter out the best ones. No one can claim to have the best algorithm here but Amarpreet is confident of doing well on this front as he believes, “there is too much noise in social media, but the amount of quality data is much higher than earlier now.”
Frrole haven’t monetized yet but at a product level, the positioning is clearer. Amarpreet sees Frrole in three contexts:
- Social news: If a person has a clear destination for his news (BBC, TOI, etc), he’s pretty much sorted but for someone who is looking for the most relevant news from outside his comfort zone, Frrole is a help.
- News Aggregator: Frrole democratizes news to a great extent. Google news aggregates news from a few thousand sites but Frrole over here brings news from millions of sources. This definitely democratizes news but there's also a chance of declining quality but if one is on the hunt for news from the widest possible source, Frrole is a good option. We’re nowhere near a comparison between Google and Frrole yet, but the potential is present.
- Twitter Discovery: Again ambitious but Frrole can be compared to Twitter’s Discover Section. “We will probably approach Twitter's location coverage in another 3-6 months, but beyond that, we already make the discovery tons more easy than the top 10 trends for each location manage to do for Twitter.” says Amarpreet.
Frrole has started generating great traction with more than 20,000 unique visitors a month and with the mobile site ready, this number will grow. Apps are also in the pipeline.
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