Friend curation beats generic curation or algorithms every time.
The pendulum has swung, and all of a sudden “human curation” is back in vogue vs. machine algorithm (shouldn’t it just be called “software curation”?), particularly in light of Apple Music and Apple News.
But there is a third category of discovery that is strangely absent from the conversation, and predictably, but still strangely, absent from Apple’s strategy: social curation.
If one looks at the biggest shift in content discovery over the last X years, it is discovery via social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so on.
But even those, in my opinion, do not lead to feeds that are personalized enough. Yes, you chose who to follow or be friends with, but the posts you see are still generic, intended for a broad audience (broadcast, get it?). Those are not intended for you in particular.
My mom is a better curator than Dr. Dre.
There, I said it.
The best content I get is sent directly to me, and just me*, by my friends, family, and co-workers. I get emails/texts/Slacks with great articles, videos, music, GIFs, and they are being sent to me specifically because I would like it.
*or a small group of people, including me
There is a really high conversion rate for those items as to whether I actually a) want to consume that content and b) enjoy consuming it. The rate is way higher than for any mass human curation (Dr. Dre’s playlists) or software curation (Pandora) or even traditional social curation (Twitter). Why? Because who could possibly be a better curator for me than the people closest to me? My mom is a better curator than Dr. Dre. There, I said it.
I designed Lynx to fill the missing gap — a way to share great content one-to-one, so you get the perfect content for you, chosen by your people.
Admittedly, it would be better if something like this was just baked into iOS. But Apple continues to ignore social as a pillar of their otherwise aggressive content strategy, and I cannot figure out why.