Springpad Announces Facebook Integration for Tracking Friends’ Likes and Accessing Them When You Need Them

8/24/11Follow @xconomy

Spring Partners CEO and co-founder Jeff Janer has previously referred to his Charlestown, MA-based company’s service as the “anti-Facebook: a place to focus not on your social network but on yourself and all the tasks and information you have to manage.”

Today Spring is announcing that Springpad, its online notebook designed to function as a virtual personal assistant, is integrating with Facebook for a new social notebook feature on Springpad called Friends’ Stuff. It’s the first service to aggregate Facebook likes and check-ins in such a way, says Janer.

Janer says it doesn’t change anything about Springpad’s original mission, though. “The subtlety is this is still for personal benefit; this is ultimately taking all of that social data and making it useful for you,” he says.

Springpad organizes and saves favorites that users come across in areas from recipes to movies to travel destinations. Beyond that it allows users to do something with those bookmarks directly from its interface, like add a saved movie to a Netflix queue or book a restaurant through OpenTable. It also alerts users in real-time to things like price drops on their favorite products. (Springpad makes its money from these integrations, as the actual app is free to consumers). All the user data is stored in the cloud, so the virtual notebook information is accessible to users from the Web interface and mobile app.

So, the Friends’ Stuff feature is essentially another avenue for Springpad users to discover, save, and act on what they like. Janer says it pulls the important information out of a real-time news feed indicating a Facebook friend has checked into a restaurant or liked an electronic product, for example, and stores it for later for Springpad users to access when they need it.

“This is not just social for social sake,” he says. “It takes all those likes and uses them to help your wants.”

When users check out the Friends’ Stuff feature on their Springpad homepage, they’ll see lists of popular movies, music, restaurants, products, and more that have accrued a number of likes and check-ins across their social network. (You can see a demo here.)

When users access the feature on the Springpad mobile app, they can further organize Friends’ Stuff according to their location. So, if they’re in a certain city, they can see all the places their friends have been to or liked in a given area, making travel to a new location a lot more meaningful, says Janer.

For now, Springpad is just pulling in data from Facebook, but is working on Foursquare integration for upcoming releases, and will make sense of user reviews of a given restaurant or store to determine what places friends actually like versus where they have simply visited, says Janer. Future releases will also better slice and dice the data so users can find the Facebook friends with preferences most similar to theirs.

When my colleague Greg last wrote about Springpad, it had just released an update offering more organization and personalization, and it boasted about 500,000 registered users. That number is set to hit 2 million this month, Janer says.

Spring Partners is also just starting the process of fundraising for a new round, which will ideally close around when it pushes out its next big release (in a few months), focused on customizing notebook templates for specific tasks like trip- or menu-planning, says Janer.

While the Friends’ Stuff feature is being announced today, it will be rolled out to all 2 million users over the next couple of weeks, Janer says. Users can sign up to be let in and will be notified when it’s ready for them.

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