Checkthis received a major update today, making it more than ever a visual complement to the text-only updates on social networks. The service enables users to create compelling posters and share them with their friends. But users now get realtime reactions, a web profile with all of their posters, and notifications. With the new features, it is even closer to a hybrid between Instagram and Tumblr.
“These days, everybody publishes content through social networks, because maintaining a blog is a big commitment,” co-founder Frédéric della Faille said during a phone interview. “Checkthis allows you to publish content that you can’t publish on social networks, without having to set up a separate blog,” he continued.
Since Ingrid Lunden profiled the startup, users created more than 70,000 posters. On average, each poster was viewed 260 times. With today’s update, Checkthis is becoming even more of a social sharing tool for your text, visual and audio content.
Checkthis offers a way to share content that would fit on a Tumblr blog, but with a focus on design. Users select colors and fonts, can upload pictures or embed content from other services, such as Soundcloud, Twitter, Google Maps, and yes, Instagram. Then, with one click, you share your poster on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.
Each poster is like an Instagram picture, with a dedicated URL and realtime comments and likes next to it. Tweets talking about the poster are integrated into the commenting section, as well. Users receive notifications and now have a profile, much like Instagram web profiles.
Compared to Tumblr, Checkthis removes a lot of friction. Content creators don’t have to select a blog theme and can customize all their posts in very different ways. If you want to share a long message on Twitter or Facebook every now and then, it may be the perfect service. You won’t want to resurface an abandoned Tumblr blog just to add a post.
The team of seven is based in Belgium and New York, and has raised $910,000 so far. When I asked della Faille to describe the service in one sentence, he said that “the web is boring, Checkthis is a social network for creative people that want to express themselves.”