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about.me Releases Major Update to App for iPhone & iPod touch

Today we’re excited to announce a revamped about.me app for iOS 7 and web dashboard, both featuring an elegantly-designed home stream that is all about making new connections. The new mobile and web views encourage you to learn more about people interested in you and discover people you have things in common with. about.me is the best starting point for your personal identity on the web, and the new discovery and connection features are a natural progression of our long term vision.

When my co-founder Tony Conrad and I decided to buy our company back, our focus was intent on unlocking the potential we see at the heart of what makes about.me work. Much of our belief in the product remains based in the fantastic feedback we get from our users about the role their pages play in their lives.

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Our millions of users have a tremendous affinity for the product, and for the opportunity to discover and engage with others through their pages. Our users take time to build fantastic looking pages, making about.me an ideal starting point to learn more about people interested in you and to discover people with whom you have things in common. The more we listened to what our users had to say, the more we understood where we wanted to take about.me next. We want to take engagement and discovery one step further, to make them the best possible extension of the identity services we currently provide. Where better to explore that opportunity than with our app for iPhone and iPod touch.

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The new version of the about.me iOS app is all about who is engaging with you. We’ve built an elegant view of pages that aggregates the most relevant pages for you – from people who recently viewed or interacted with your page to people who are around you geographically or share your interests. Even more impressively, we can build a stream of just those users who have engaged with you on your connected services. New followers from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn can show up in the stream, offering more context about the people who are interested in you.

The about.me app is visually driven, making the user’s profile photo the star. Bios and common networks are available to provide additional information, with the option to click through to learn more about each person. When you uncover a new page you’re interested in, save it to a collection, send a compliment or send an email to your new connection all from within the app.

The more time we spent building the app and interacting with the new feeds, the more the about.me team fell in love with the big visuals and the simplified ways to engage with other users. When given the choice of using our Dashboard in the browser or the streams in the mobile app prototype, all of us agreed: the app was a tremendous amount of fun. At that point the decision was a simple one, and so in tandem with our release of about.me’s 2.0 version, we’re rolling out a brand new Dashboard interface that mirrors the new app’s highly visual streams. A unified experience for a product and a team on its first independent steps towards fulfilling our long term vision.

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Tony, the team, and I could not be more excited for what we’re announcing today. We’re asserting the future of the product and our company, and we did it by listening to the people we’ve built it for. We want to thank our users for letting us continue to make it all about them.

The about.me App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch.

about.me goes independent

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The new year is a great time for fresh beginnings, something the about.me team learned early in our history. Just a few short days after our public launch in December 2010, we shared the exciting news that we’d been acquired by AOL. We committed ourselves then to building the best product to make it easy for people to learn about you and to find your content on the web.

Twenty-four months and several million about.me pages later, we continue our commitment to building the best personal identity service on the web. During the past two years, we’ve been thankful for the tremendous resources and support of our friends and partners at AOL.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be spinning about.me back out, returning to life as an independent company that is financially backed by our management team and a truly amazing group of investors who have backed companies such as WordPress and Google. Our team will remain the same for the most part, and we’ll continue our roles as co-founders.

Our commitment is to make about.me the web’s starting point for identity – we believe everyone will eventually have an about.me page they integrate into their email signature, add to their Twitter Bio or embed in one of their blogs. Very few products have a legitimate shot at becoming ubiquitous and we think building about.me as an independent company is the best way to get us there.

For those who ask, “what comes next?” we can only promise that many things our users have been asking for (in our forums, on Twitter, and when we meet them face to face) are on our roadmap. To allay any anxiety about what we’ve got planned, we’ve updated our original TOS and Privacy Policy, updated for 2013. You can update your account settings here.

Thanks to everyone for helping make this happen. We are really excited about this change, and hope you are as well. More good news to come…stay tuned!

Ryan Freitas & Tony Conrad

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365 days all about.me – Some Reflections (and a Few Stats, Too)

by Tony Conrad and Ryan Freitas

It seems hard to believe that the passage of an entire year might catch you by surprise – in many ways, though, that’s where we find ourselves today. This past weekend marked the one year anniversary of launching about.me, a milestone that we almost neglected to celebrate in all the activity surrounding the end of the year. Time’s a bit funny like that, as we’re sure our amazingly talented development and community teams feel like it’s been several years given the amount of effort and energy expended over the last 365 days, but for us, it’s had a perfect pace. A bit frenetic, certainly, but consistently with clear purpose and reward.

We’re excited to share some data about our performance and achievements over the past year, but we’ll get to the stats in a bit. First, just a little history.

The story behind about.me’s acquisition is true; we launched on December 16, 2010 and were acquired 4 days later by Aol. As a team, we could not believe our good fortune. Like all Founders, the idea of an exit is both exciting and anxiety-provoking, and so we were a bit nervous about how the acquisition would impact the culture we’d built and the vision we had for our product. About.me was founded upon the idea of empowering everyone to take back control of their identity online through a set of simple tools to quickly build a personal and dynamic page. We wanted our users to use the page to point to all the elements their life online consists of (like WordPress, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, GitHub, Twitter, etc) – be it for personal use, or to create a professional online profile. It was, from the beginning, a simple concept that we executed with as much precision as our very talented team was able to bring to bear. Given the accelerating rate of adoption since we launched, we’ve been delighted knowing that our offering has struck a nerve with our audience.

Keeping a team together post-acquisition is challenging in any circumstance, and even more so with the current talent crunch across the technology sector. We are lucky to have assembled an amazing team. This has not gone unremarked by other companies, if the weekly attempts at hiring them out from under us are any indication. In the face of all that, we are both happy to report that 100% of the launch team and every incredible contributor who has joined us since remains engaged and true to the same culture and vision that we founded this company with. We work hard, and we do it at odd hours from all across the US and the world, and it works brilliantly. Maintaining our team, our identity and our culture is our greatest accomplishment in 2011 and it speaks to the enthusiasm we all share for the original vision of about.me. A hearty thank you to our product, development, community & outreach teams who have designed, built & exposed millions of users to a beautiful product that scales, one that is more interesting and engaging with each weekly code release.

Our vision and team have been the driving forces behind a phenomenal first year. Our 1M+ registered users make amazing pages, they share stories, they support causes, they search for jobs, they announce babies – and with each new page, that’s someone else taking control of their own identity, drawing a clear distinction between who they are and the shares, tweets, photos, posts and everything else they contribute online. Along the way:

15M+ Personal Cards have been created with Moo
75k+ about.me email addresses have been established …
20M+ people visited 57M+ profiles …

And just for the fun of it, some geeky details:

Chrome was our most popular browser (33%), followed by Firefox (25%), IE (20%) and Safari (15%)…
Direct traffic represented 39% of our visits, followed by Twitter (23%), Google (17%), Facebook (15%) and Linked-In (6%)…
KISSinsights was our most effective customer acquisition tool, accounting for over 20% of all new sign-ups…

2011 has been an incredible year for about.me as a team and a product, with a great deal of effort put forward to extend our success into 2012 and beyond. The enthusiasm of our audience for about.me has been one of the greatest rewards any of us have ever achieved, and we look forward to keeping them delighted with us and what we build as the product matures. As we wrap up our first year at AOL, we re-commit ourselves to the culture and vision that lays at the root of our success, and applaud our team for all of the hard work that has gotten us here.

Best wishes for 2012,
Tony and Ryan

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