Crate: A Buffer Suggestions Replacement For Sharing Content

For the past few years, I’ve worked with brands all over the world to help with content marketing.

Whether it’s the creation of ebooks and blog posts or managing their social media accounts – I’ve always been involved in content creation & distribution.

Over the last few months, I’ve been heads down with David Fudge (CTO of Crate) working on a platform that I’m excited to finally share with the world. We’ve been working many late nights and early mornings to fill a serious gap.

For me, I always struggled with the idea of spending hours and hours looking for great content. In 2013, I spent hours on top of hours looking for great articles to share on Twitter and then schedule them via Hootsuite or Buffer to give myself time to get back to the hustle.

It was a drain on my time.

Then I realized there had to be a better way.

As an active user of Buffer, I quickly fell in love with their Suggestions feature. Unfortunately, because the app was being used by so many people and the suggested content was limited to a few key topics – it didn’t fill the gap.  When using Suggestions, users were essentially sharing the same content as everyone else.

Why blend in when you can stand out?

As much as I love Buffer the company and the product, I knew there had to be a better way.

I wanted a solution that personalized the content for me, my clients or anyone else who wanted to share their story online. So I spent a few months chatting with people from all over the world about the way they shared content online.

The responses were eye-opening.

People wanted a solution that recommended content that was relevant to their industry, their interests, and their needs. The people I surveyed wanted the ability to share content they found online with having to jump from one product or tab to the next. In a nutshell, the results showed that people wanted a better way to share relevant stories online.

So David and I got to work building a solution that would fill the gap.

It’s called Crate.

A few months back, Buffer decided to announce that they would be retiring Suggestions a feature that helped inspire our approach. Their reasons for shutting down were the reasons we started up:

  • The content was focused on only a few different topic areas, not necessarily the topics you would naturally choose to share around or in your preferred language.
  • The design of Suggestions prioritized sharing content over consuming content.
  • Having the same pool of suggestions for all our customers led to lots of sharing of the exact same posts, which didn’t feel like a very authentic experience.

This was good news to us because we had already been working on a solution that would fill this gap…

1) We wanted to build an app that allowed you to recieve content tailored to you.

2) Our design would be focused around both sharing and the consumption of content.

3) And because Crates are controlled by the user, it’s very possible that no two Crates will ever be the same.

Over the last few months, we’ve tested the app with more than 150 people from all over the world. Whether it was a demo in a coffee shop or a Skype call – we’ve gone through numerous rounds of revisions and feedback to reach this point.

Here’s a quick run down on how to use our platform:

With Crate, you’re in the driver seat as soon as you log in for the first time. The first thing you need to do is identify key topics, users who share content you like or the websites that create content you like to share. There’s a “Sample Crate” already loaded for you to see exactly how our app works.

You take your own insight and add it to a Crate:

Crate Contents

From there, Crate takes this information to identify the most recent and best articles that align with these insights to deliver you results. We identify the best content shared by @Usernames, the best content that includes specific keywords along with the best content from a specific domain.

Once you press Save, we start hunting to deliver the best content for Growth Hackers….

Growth Hackers

The best content covering the topic of green living…

Green Living

Or even be the latest and greatest info on Psychology….

Psychology

You have the power to make a Crate tailored to your own interests and the content your followers want to see in their feed. Once the content is delivered to you, schedule the content to be shared directly to your Twitter account using our native app or connect your Buffer account.

Because we know so many people love Buffer ( we do too) we’ve  made it easy to integrate Crate directly into your account. Simply connect your account on your Profile page and you’ll have the ability to add content from your feed directly to your Buffer queue:

Buffer Queue

This app is the first of many content marketing tools that we’re looking to roll out in the coming months. Our goal is to arm people with the ability to share and tell better stories.

And it’s all starting right here with Crate.

We hope you check it out and like what we’ve built.

And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out – I’d love to hear from you!

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