After a soft launch at the University of Pennsylvania in September, Vyrtex, a new social content curation platform, is ready to take things to the next level. I had the opportunity to chat briefly with Taylor Culliver and Dilip Rajan, cofounders of Vyrtex, about their progress and their vision for the company.
What is Vyrtex and why'd you start it?
Vyrtex is the best place to save, share, and discover the articles you love.
The current media landscape has been driven by two major trends: the social feed and shareability. Social feeds are increasingly becoming the place where people discover articles, and to do better on those social feeds and hold attention, major players are focusing on dumbed-down, bite-sized pieces of news updates and listicles.
It's because of this that we both constantly found ourselves asking "Where do you go to find the best stuff to read about things you're interested in?" While everyone else is focused on developing solutions to deliver millennials shorter, bite-sized pieces of daily news -- Facebook Trending Articles, TheSkimm, Twitter Moments, etc. -- we know that millennials are also spending lots of time on the deeper dives. While they might laugh at the silly Buzzfeed listicle about cats, they're also hungry for that in-depth profile of Peter Thiel in The New Yorker or FiveThirtyEight blog post about the odds of their favorite NFL team making it to the playoffs.
We're all definitely missing out on really amazing articles that our friends are reading, so we're providing a home for these articles to thrive.
How does Vyrtex work?
It's like Pinterest, but for articles. Users create collections of topics they're interested in and save articles to those collections for their friends to follow what they're reading. In the future people will be able to annotate the articles they've read and discuss their thoughts with other users. We want Vyrtex to be more than a tool; we're really striving to build a community around the best reads from around the web.
Give me some numbers.
We did a soft launch at our alma mater, Penn, in September. Since we released our beta in April, more than 1600 people have signed up and more than 9,000 articles have been shared on the site. Our core users really love the product.
What are you guys focused on next?
With our soft launch we learned a lot about how we can improve the product, so we've been spending some time tweaking the platform to make it more accessible to the average content consumer. We want everyone to be able to show up to the site and quickly find something amazing to read on a topic that interests them. We're also preparing to build the first version of our mobile app, and we're building an army of campus reps at schools across the country who will help get their schools excited about Vyrtex. There's a lot in store for the next several months.