Realtime, realtime, realtime — it’s all you seem to hear now with regard to the web. But back in May, it was just emerging as a new trend that looked poised to explode. And one company at the forefront of that was Scoopler, a Y Combinator-backed realtime search engine. Today, being ahead of the curve has paid off, as the service has just raised a seed round of funding from some big name investors.
When we intially wrote about the service (remember, very early on in the realtime search phenomenon), we noted that the presentation of results was impressive, but the results themselves were utterly dominated by Twitter. That really shouldn’t have been all that surprising considering Twitter’s popularity in the space. But the service has since added some new features to make it more robust.
You’ll notice that when you do a search, there is a clean, two-column layout. On the left, popular shared items appear. These can be links shared on Twitter, Digg items, etc. You can also filter this content by videos, links, and images. On the right, you’ll see the live-updating items from around the web. The majority are still coming in from Twitter, but there are plenty of results from places like Delicious and Digg mixed in as well. These two columns have been swapped since when we first covered the service, and the “Your Searches” column has been removed and place in the top bar.
More importantly, Scoopler has added an entirely new top area to break searches up into categories. Scoopler is calling the feature “Realtime Channels,” and co-founder AJ Asver describes it as, “like Digg’s categories but updated in realtime. They show the hottest tweets, links, videos and images in News, Business, Technology, Politics etc. The idea is to drive more search queries by suggesting what people should search for.”
Makes sense. And the results are pretty solid. For example, I just clicked on the Entertainment channel and I see the live posts are being populated with talk about things like the new Michael Jackson movie and also the new Avatar trailer. There is also a constantly updating area along the top of the page to show you the hottest topics being talked about in realtime around the web.
But perhaps the best feature of Scoopler remains the “peek” option. This allows you to quickly see the content being linked to through tweets and Digg results in an overlay without having to leave Scoopler. The service also has little picture thumbnails that get inserted into the stream for things like Flickr pictures.
Scoopler’s seed round has attracted investors such as Ron Conway, (Bebo co-founder) Michael Birch, Avalon Ventures, and XG Ventures. Though the amount of the round wasn’t officially disclosed, we hear it’s in the $500,000 to $1 million range.
Speaking of realtime, don’t forget our second Realtime CrunchUp taking place on November 20.