What Are Social Media Aggregators and Branded RSS Feeds?

PushON | August 29th 2007


Due to the widespread use of RSS* it’s become easier to pull in information, content, images, audio, news and comments from various locations and output in an easily digestible, or even branded display.

* RSS is an abbreviation for many terms which attempt to describe the phenomenon, but most commonly ‘Really Simple Syndication‘. Wikipedia and The BBC have excellent explanations for what RSS is.

Social Media

Many social media sites give the option to output your personal feeds in RSS form; an example of this is Flickr, which allows you, your contacts, friends or followers to subscribe to feeds from your Flickr account and view images in a feed reader.Flickr Images In RSS

Facebook, which is growing at an astonishing rate uses RSS feeds to keep users up-to-date with their friends activities. Currently Facebook are being careful with the content, and feeds are not freely available to republish. This safeguards the privacy of its users.

Feed Readers

Feed readers include the likes of Outlook 2007, Attensa, Google Reader, and you can publish content from RSS feeds to a Website, Blog or Social Media site. You can see an example on the right hand side of our PushON blog, and within this post – where images from our Flickr account are pulled in and displayed in thumbnails.

So… What Is A Social Media Aggregator?

A social media aggregator is a system which mixes up RSS feeds with content from various sources. This could be your personal feed from your blog, posts from your twitter account, images from your Flickr account, videos from YouTube that you like or you published, and feeds from your favourite news sites, or podcasts.

Examples of Social Media AggregatorsSpokeo

Some examples of social media aggregators are listed below.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, especially as these sites are cropping up all over the show. I’d appreciate feedback if there are any sites you’ve seen or used that you think should be mentioned.

Facebooks’ Evolution In Social Media

Since opening up to developer applications, facebook has become something of a social media aggregator in itself. Applications developed independently, and by the various social media companies use methods such as RSS to pull their content in and display on profiles and in the Facebook feeds.

This is beneficial to all parties involved, because it helps users pull all their favourite content and profile data into one place, it gives these companies and social media sites exposure on Facebook, and it helps Facebook because there’s more going on, and more to keep users returning without the need for them to develop these feature themselves.

They have employed some very intelligent strategies which have influenced their massive growth… we’ll be writing more about Facebook soon.




Additional Social Media Aggregators: