The idea of gathering all known social networks under a single interface and make it really easy to use is certainly one of the Web’s more interesting potential lines of business. Not only would it attract thousands of users all over the world, but also generate tons of revenue to the company that finds the right path to this goose that lays golden eggs.
Strands.com has started taking the first steps onto this path with their community, an all-in-one social network that aims to bring together all your personal online activities currently scattered across various websites (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Last.fm, Digg, StumbleUpon, Digg and many, many others).
It’s precisely the large amount of social websites and online networks supported by Strands.com the one feature that makes this service stand out. You can basically add anything you’re subscribed to, and if you don’t find it, you can suggest it to developers so that it’s added in future versions.
Strands.com displays all the information in a timeline that can be filtered according to categories, items from the people you follow and from those following you. Each one of these items can be commented, shared and marked as “like” or “dislike”. Besides the standard timeline Strands.com also lets you add elements such as movies, books, images, songs and bookmarks, so that you can share them with your contacts and express your opinion about them. This option is useful both to know what your friends are reading or watching, and also read reviews and receive recommendations about new books, movies and TV shows.
The idea behind Strands is great: having a single website where you can check your profile in all the social sites and networks you’re subscribed to. However its implementation is far from perfect. I miss the possibility of filtering by social network (apart from categories) and also being able to exchange messages with other users. I didn’t like the fact that if you remove a contact or a service from your profile, the updates from this person or service still remain on the timeline. Finally, the fact that all your friends need to also register in Strands.com in order to follow their updates makes it a bit hard. I want to be able to see all my Twitter followers or Facebook friends from the Strands interface, not have to ask them to join Strands so that we can keep in touch.
Strands.com is currently at a beta stage, which means that the only way to sign up is requesting an invite on the site or being invited by another Strands user.