Echo is a startup that’s been helping big companies and their agencies create widgets that highlight social media conversations. Now, with the launch of a new product called the Echo Experience Studio, co-founder and Chief Product Officer Chris Saad said the company has expanded its technology and made it accessible to a much broader group of customers, including small businesses, conferences, and journalists.
The idea of creating widgets and pages showcasing social media content is hardly new, but Saad told me that his goal here was to create something that was “dead simple.”
To show me what the Experience Studio can do, Saad quickly created a page that highlighted comments and media about our TechCrunch Disrupt conference, with content that’s updated in real-time. To build it, Saad basically just uploaded a header image, typed in different tags/search terms, then dragged-and-dropped different elements around the page — this was the result.
If you’re not quite as excited about Disrupt as I am, you can see some other sample pages on the Echo site — yes, there’s a brand marketing page, but also a page showing how journalists might use these tools to highlight the news in real-time.
These pages can also include prompt users to participate in the conversation, say by reminding them to tweet with a certain hashtag. Behind the scenes, Saad said Echo has built a number of automated curation tools that can, among other filter out content includes certain words or comes from certain users: “We do as much as we can to automate everything while giving you really fine-tuned control.”
And yes, these pages work on mobile, too.
Beyond the improvements to the product itself, Saad also said that pricing has changed significantly. There’s a version that’s completely free, as long as you’re willing to run it on the Echo domain, with Echo branding. If you want to embed these pages on your site, you have to pay for a pro account, with pricing starting at $99 a month.