Wink - people search engine - restructuring capital

Wink announced a partial stock repurchase from some of its investors. The major change seems to be Greylock Partners's stake reduction while remaining the largest shareholder outside of the company. Go figure what really happened.

Wink's positioning is pretty much straight forward ... "the first search engine dedicated to searching people’s online presence such as their profiles, blogs, social networks and other online communities."

The explosion of consumer generated media makes Wink an awesome social search engine. 44% of Internet users are content creators (PEW), and a significant ratio of the top 100 results for more queries are consumer-generated media such as blogs and social networks. I am seeing more and more people pro actively managing their online reputation. Wink does a pretty good job at empowering users, encouraging you to claim your profile and providing controls to edit the content.

Michael Tanne - Wink's founder and CEO - shares a few interesting tidbits in the announcement. Wink searches over 150 million people across five major social networks including MySpace, Bebo, Live Spaces, Friendster and LinkedIn. That's nice! Would just be even nicer to see more sources, a blog crawl to pick up on a broader spectrum of user-generated content, as well as questions and answers from Yahoo! Answers, Yedda, AskVille and others.

As Nick reported for TechCrunch, Wink is fast and simple and has interesting advanced search features, like location, sex, status, age, and interests. It also lets you narrow your search by those fields after your first search. Like most social search engines, Wink also provides a tag cloud navigation tool to discover interesting content and people.

The "Where I am at" widget is pretty cool, smart distributed entry-points strategy to ramp up adoption. David Beach's got more coverage on the Wink widget.

Wink's not alone in the space, also including Streakr, Lijit, Ziki, Mugshot, ClaimID, and of course PreFound.

Wink launched in October 2005 and managed to generate quiet a bit of buzz since. Following are buzz monitoring charts from Nilesen BuzzMetrics BlogPulse, Technorati and IceRocket. I added the "search" filter to "wink" to limit the results a bit given how generic the term "wink" is and still, many of the posts don't actually relate to Wink ... to take with a grain of salt.

Posts that contain Wink Search per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

IceRocket actually reports about 10 posts a day for Wink search, adding up to 942 posts in the past 3 months.


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