Nuzzel launches “first network of newsletters”
Social news service offers free content curation tool for email newsletters and hopes to leverage not-yet-launched network effects.
An email newsletter is a single channel of communication between the author or brand and the recipient. But social news service Nuzzel wants to leverage the networking factor of having many newsletters emanate from the same place.
Today, the San Francisco-based company is launching what it describes as “the world’s first network of newsletters.”
The company’s main product is a news service, reached via your Twitter login, that shows you the news stories your friends are sharing, as well as the top stories in a variety of selected topics. It is available via an iOS or Android app, desktop or mobile web, email digest, and even push notifications.
The new newsletter hub, founder and CEO Jonathan Abrams told me, offers a rapid newsletter-building tool through which authors can select recommended content from your or your friends’ Nuzzel news feeds, plus they can add stories from other sources and some commentary.
But the tool is not really intended for the creation of free-form content, Abrams said, where newsletters are entirely composed by their authors. There are no templates, but lots of content, he said, the opposite of Constant Contact’s or MailChimp’s tool.
Newsletter creators can sign up to this curated newsletter platform with their Twitter login, with support for Facebook on the drawing board. To build a subscription list, creators can import contacts from such sources as a Gmail or LinkedIn account, or from an Excel CSV file, after which invitations are sent out.
The email newsletter is an enduring channel. In its announcement, Nuzzel pointed to a McKinsey & Company report that email newsletters receive as much as 40 times the engagement of Facebook posts or Twitter tweets. Some newsletters can grow large subscriber lists, like news summary theSkimm, with more than 1.5 million readers, or actress/author Lena Dunham and director/writer Jenni Konner’s Lenny Letter, with 400,000.
At launch, this network of newsletters won’t actually offer any network effects, Abrams said, as those will be added when a critical mass of titles develops. He envisions cross-promotion of newsletters or their stories, analytics about which stories are most popular and a “re-blogging” of content between newsletters, possibly stimulated by paid promotion. Newsletter issues are automatically archived.
No revenue sources are offered right now for the free newsletters, Abrams said, although there might be ads in the future, possibly with a split with authors.
The new hub is primarily intended as “a tool for people to promote themselves,” he said, such as influencers, business people or journalists. He noted that in the beta phase, with several dozen users, a librarian curated a newsletter with library-related content, and a journalist created one with stories about health policy.