According to one estimate the total data storage capacity produced by humans each year is expected to surpass 1 Yottabyte by 2013. Demand for storage is doubling every 18 to 24 months. And the mountains of content being produced by ordinary people as lifestreaming becomes more and more popular is only adding to that growth. So how are we going to deal with it – search it, store it? That’s the problem Silentale is planning to address, and the startup has just opened it’s private beta to start testing it’s platform. We have 200 invites for TechCrunch readers for the free private beta. Just leave a comment with your email address to get on the list.
Put simply, Silentale is aiming to store all your digital conversations in one place and allow you to access them from anywhere. Founded by Paris-based French Canadian entrepreneur Laurent Féral-Pierssens and his team, Silentale is going to set out with a very clear business model: We’ll aggregate everything you do out there: Twitter, Email and even SMS. We’ll store it and let you search it. Simple.
Ok, that’s not quite right – it won’t be aggregating your blog comments – that’s quite a different nut to crack. But the scale of its ambition in archiving all your messaging is quite large enough.
The service aims to consolidate your conversations and contacts from all platforms that you use: your webmail, your social networks, and your mobile phone. By “digital conversations”, Silentale means literally anything you say to someone privately (email, chat, sms, dm) or publicaly (@replies etc). Anything where you have a conversation – so for instance, Flickr is not in their target list as it’s not really about conversations.
Built on Ruby On Rails and using Amazon web services, Silientale is not a simple aggregator but designed much more as a searchable, smart archive either through Silentale.com or through services attached to the API.
There will be three parts to the service, a timeline, address book and “connectors” (the setting for the services you connect to like Facebook, Twitter etc). Timeline displays all your messages from, well, just about everything.
Currently they have Emails (obviously), Twitter, Facebook Friends and Google Contacts. They’re experimenting with SMS, Skype, and other social networks – e.g. LinkedIn – although these are not live for now.
It will also recover SMS messages from your mobile phone. That’s a daunting prospect, but it’s not so much asking you to use this as a base from which to manage communications, so much as a place to store, retrieve and make sense of your interactions. Attachments of any sorts are also archived and eventually they plan to be able to let you search the content of those as well. SMS will be archived via an application you load onto your mobile via an app for the iPhone and Android (both in development).
It also has a Firefox extension. While you browse social networking sites this automatically detects the profile of the person you are looking at, and retrieves the corresponding contact details and messages from your archive. The extension currently works while browsing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viadeo, Hi5, Gmail, Hotmail/Live Mail, Yahoo Mail and AOL Mail. A search plugin let’s you have instant access to your messages and contacts from your browser search bar.
The address book feature aggregates all your contacts across all platforms, and de-dupes any duplicate entries across networks and email addresses and contact information. Click on a contact and you see you latest conversations with that contacts, wherever you interacted with them (Facebook, SMS, twitter). Imagine being able to aggregate all you contacts and then sync it with your phone or computer? Sounds pretty tantalising.
The service will be free during the private beta but the long term business model will be Freemium: basic service is free but retaining only two months of archives, after which they’ll be a charge. It’s not yet set in stone but it looks like it will be about $50 per year (about €35). Silentale pitched at LeWeb last year and after boostrapping from friends and family is look for its next funding round.