Web Mission 08 – killer UK web start ups #2 The Filter

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Imagine having an older sibling with similar tastes to you who can keep you up to date about the best music and movies. Well that’s kind of the premise for an online tool brought to you by Eden Ventures (whose backers include Peter Gabriel).

TheFilter, which is still in beta and invite-only, uses a series of systems to enable you to build a profile of stuff you like. It then suggests stuff you might get into based on things like rating, purchasing and stuff you have chosen to listen to. Basically it is like amazon.com’s recommendation system on steroids.

You can also check out individual artists and then see who TheFilter recommends as being like them. You are then just click away from watching videos on YouTube or streaming songs you want to hear. Unlike rivals like Last FM and Pandora, it works with TV and movies as well as music.

There’s a lot of interest in TheFilter as it chimes with the way in which some web analysts believe we’ll discover content in the future. Instead of using search engines it is expected that sites like TheFilter will deliver recommendations based on our tastes and behavioural patterns.

The issue for the filter is scalability. Can it attract a large enough base of people to develop a real community and therefore deliver the page impressions and the ads which will make it profitable.

At the moment TheFilter is invitation only which is probably for the best as I found it quite buggy, slow and tricky to negotiate. If its developers can get TheFilter right it really could become the next Last FM.

Ashley Norris