So, we’ve gone and done it again. We’ve changed what you know about us and added a shiny new veneer. The reason why we’re plugging TopicDNA now isn’t because what we created before didn’t work. On the contrary, the technology we were building that determines your personality based on your music listening behaviours is still here. In fact, we’ve proven that it’s about 70 – 80% accurate on over 30,000 people around the world (who’ve taken the test via our demo app).
No, the reason why we’re pushing TopicDNA is because over the past few months that we were pitching Music + Personality to agencies, they thought it was really cool (which is how we got the meeting in the first place), but they just didn’t really understand how it could currently help them.
Now, the word “currently” is very important here as we still see this solution being a really big part of the company in the next year or so. But just not now, and that’s the thing. We need to start generating revenue NOW. So we’ve shelved the technology for the time being and focused on a more interesting twist to our profiling tech portfolio, and that’s profiling people through their behaviours on social media.
This idea came about from one of our clients in Boston, seeing as they didn’t have a mobile app to install our personality SDK with. We did some bespoke profiling work for them on their Twitter audience, then started to lay the groundwork for the MVP of our technology shortly thereafter. We wanted to build something unique, cool and, more importantly, something true to our profiling roots. So we decided to look at a problem that no one is really concentrating on but everyone needs in this space and that’s the categorization of the social data that’s out there. Everyone analyzes the enormous amounts of data that’s available, but no one is really organizing it first before analyzing it. And that’s where we come in.
TopicDNA is a new taxonomy specifically designed and created for social media behavioural data, grouping them into topics. We started with Twitter data since there’s so much of it out there, and used that to build and test our taxonomy. But the beauty of what we’ve built is that it can be scaled out to any other social network, either existing ones or ones that don’t exist now but will become the next Snapchat. It’s incredibly exciting and helps to solve a current need for the social media and insights teams within agencies and brands.
We debuted our working MVP at the TMW Unlimited Tech Expo in the first week of November 2015.
The MVP literally consisted of a pie chart that showed the Twitter accounts you were following, grouped into different topics. It also had the capability to drill down into much greater detail as you clicked on each topic. So, for example, if you clicked on Sports, it would show the different kinds of sports (ie. basketball, baseball, etc.). Then, if you clicked on one of those, it would show you the different entities in that sport (ie. basketball athlete, basketball team, etc.). It was a new way of seeing what kinds of accounts you were following and became a hit at the Expo. This is when we knew we were onto something.
We then took that initial validation and built out a bigger platform from it and launched it just before the Christmas break in a private beta. We got amazing feedback from those people and started to build and refine the beta-version of our platform just after the new year. As we figured we could be in development hell for a while if we kept building new features, we decided to launch our closed beta three weeks ago to the agencies we were talking to in London. Since then, we’ve been doing a travelling roadshow with agencies and brands both in London and Manchester to get them to sign up for the closed beta. In part to try out the power of the technology and platform, but also to give us usability feedback that will help us further shape our new product.
There’s still a LOT of work to do on the platform as we continue to roll it out to more people, agencies and brands over the next few weeks (you can try it out here). First on our list is to roll out the taxonomy to Instagram, which will be super exciting! We’ll keep you posted on any new developments that happen so watch this space!
– Andrew, Co-founder