In case you hadn't heard, all the cool kids are going "vanity" these days - vanity Facebook URLs, vanity phone numbers on Google Voice and now vanity social networking pages where all of your profiles, from Facebook and Twitter to Flickr and YouTube, can be viewed and managed from one easy-to navigate browser window.
This morning, a startup called GizaPage announced some upgrades to a pretty bare-bones but nicely organized social networking home page. Think of GizaPage as a browser window with tabs open for each of your social networking home or profile pages. But it's actually a Web page with a single URL - yup, you guessed it - a vanity URL that the guys over at GizaPage are hoping you'll use to replace all those pesky user names at the bottom of your e-mail signature.
The upgrades are interesting because they seem to go right at a sweet spot in social networking these days - companies who are using tools like Twitter, Facebook and You Tube to extend their online presence and market their brands. As part of the upgrades that are being rolled out today, users can now add skins to give the page a colorful look (or plaster with a brand logo) - as opposed to that dreary default color - and can redirect the page to a domain name or subdomain, something like social.mycompany.com.
The company is also offering one-click "business cards," basically clickable images that can be embedded in an email signature, blog page or Facebook profile and direct users to the GizaPage. Finally, it also plans to offer basic analytics - initially starting with a record of how many times each tab was viewed and more to come later.
There are other services out there that are offering services similar to GizaPage's - such as Dandy ID and Retaggr - but in those cases, they want you to join their social networking site and then link to your other online profiles. I don't know about you but I'm just about at maxed out on online social networks. GizaPage embeds the actual Web page - the actual Facebook profile or Twitter Home Page, for example - so those sites still record the page views.
On the Enterprise side, GizaPage reminds me a bit of what Salesforce is offering with its Facebook and Twitter apps, allowing companies to tap into what's being discussed about them on the social sites and incorporate it into the company's other databases. Salesforce is tapping in deeper but GizaPage is offering access to a greater lineup of social networks.
As we become overloaded with our social network presences, it only seemed like a matter of time before someone came up with a central place to manage and interact with all of them.