Social media aggregator Flux.com is releasing two products today designed to let web publishers move their content seamlessly among community sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and more. Flux Lite and Flux Custom also let the ads supporting the content move with them in tandem. The moves follow Flux’s overall relaunch in September and its fShare widget two weeks ago. I spoke with Evan Rifkin, CEO of Social Project the company that runs Flux, Friday afternoon, who walked me through the tools and the latest in the company’s evolution since MTVN (NYSE: VIA) became an investor:
— Beyond Viacom: While closely aligned with Viacom, which as we reported in January, invested in Social Project (formerly known as TagWord) to help MTVN build social net tools. Now, Rifkin wants to emphasize that the company wants to grow beyond that role: “Out of 75 community sites that we work with, only five are from Viacom. We have more successful sites outside of Viacom than within Viacom. We have more communities from within record labels like Capitol Records and Universal Music Group than we do from Viacom. ”
— Ad Serving Flexibility: About the only restriction Flux places on who it decides to let in as a member is that the sites have to show that are interested in earning ad revenue. Rifkin: “Our entire business model is based on making sure our tools turn more pageviews and keep viewers on a site longer. We also offer each of these communities ad serving. So we’re also actively trying to help them monetize their inventory. So if you start a community with us, and you have traffic, we’ll start giving you a monthly check for the ads that run our your site. If a publisher is serving over $10k in gross revenue for their own site, we allow them to trade out our ad code with their ad code. If, for example, a publisher comes to Flux saying ‘We get $5 CPMs and you guys are giving me $1.50 CPMs, which is still good for most sites – we’ll let them use their ad code and offer to further monetize it. We’re very incentivized to enable you to maximize this inventory at the best possible rates.”
— Counting On The Long Tail: While Rifkin is certainly interested with other large companies like Viacom, he feels strongest about working with niche providers. “We don’t just want to service Viacom or large record labels. There’s tons of independent record labels that don’t have the budgets or the money that corporations do. The influencer market and the websites that are living on the Long Tail are the people that most media companies have lost touch with. Viacom, Sony, (NYSE: SNE) UMG, all these guys are trying to reach the influencers. And those guys are creating sites in their basements. So, because media partners want a community sites with a rich experience, that guy in his basement is as important to us as 50 Cent or Soldier Boy. We want to both the big and small on the same platform.”
— The New Tools: fShare: A Digg-like button that can be added to videos, photos, and blog posts. One click and a publisher can send their content to MySpace, Facebook, Blogger, LiveJournal and on Flux’s 75 member communities. At the same time, fShare preserves the branding and attribution of the originating partner community, to help increase traffic and engagement back on that partner’s site. Flux Lite: Lets Flux’s partners change the look and feel of their site. Flux Custom Encompasses all Flux’s tools in one area. Flux Custom can be added to existing sites or used to create an entire community from scratch.
— Coming Soon: In January, Flux plans to issue still more integration and customization features and is working on making its features compatible with Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) OpenSocial platform.