Snip.it lets you collect what you see on the web, be it an article, video, or image, then categorize it, add your own comments, and share it. The Snip.it API, currently in version 2, is RESTful with the response in JSON. Snip.it itself features a backbone.js-powered page load structure to speed things along.
Here's a look at how it works. In the following snapshot example, two collections of items have been assembled by Snip.it's founder, Ramy Adeeb. On the left is a collection of 26 items that represent his favorite products, with 24 people subscribing to his collection. On the right, 385 people subscribe to his 209 item list of web pages about "Tales of a (social media) revolution." Clicking on a collection opens it and reveals the items under that topic. Click on an item in the collection and you get taken to the webpage for that displays the content.
Encompassing Snip.it, Pinterest, Tumblr, Storify and Fancy, the online field of social curation is exploding, as Oliver Starr of Pearltrees has noted:
Social curation has been called the Web's third frontier. Investors have now bet well in excess of $150 million on companies that use the word 'curation' to describe their business models.
In a Techcrunch interview, Colleen Taylor outlined the business model focused on advertising:
Snip.it is not currently making any money, but it does not plan to do so by offering premium paid features (I pointed out that the new version was already giving analytics away for free, a perk for which many social sharing apps opt to charge.) Rather, Snip.it plans to make money by putting clearly demarcated ads into shared news collections. The company has 10 full-time employees, and Adeeb has not yet disclosed the total amount of funding he raised in the “healthy” seed round for Snip.it from Khosla Ventures, True Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and SV Angel.
This could be huge. In addition to popular use, think course packs assembled for students, a research/collection tool for authors, and, as Adeeb notes, the exciting ability to track your influence by watching how many subscribe to your curation.