The laundry list of messaging management applications got longer Dec. 8 with the beta launch of NutshellMail, a software as a service tool that aggregates users' notifications from Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
When users sign up for the service, they check boxes in the NutshellMail dashboard to tell the service to accept notifications from specific social network and when they wish to receive them right down to the exact hour.
NutshellMail the company hosts the service on its own servers, which troll users' e-mail every hour to see if they received any messages from social networks.
When social network messages ping users' e-mail inboxes, NutshellMail parses them to determine if they are from the social networks' users designated in the dashboard, consolidates them in concise e-mail messages, or digests, and pushes them to users, who can peruse them when they're ready.
Normally, users would have to navigate to social network sites when they receive alerts and notifications, but NutshellMail lets users then take action right from the pushed e-mails.
For example, users can reply directly to social alerts to update status, comment on posts, share stories, write on walls and send tweets. Specifically, users can keep track of Facebook pages and friend lists and Twitter Lists.
The service is designed to save users the time and effort of sifting through their inboxes at a time when most users belong to two or more social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or MySpace. NutshellMail aggregates messages from those networks and Ning, as well as e-mail from Yahoo, Google's Gmail, Microsoft Hotmail, and AOL.
For example, users who have a lot of Facebook friends or Twitter followers may find themselves burdened by countless alerts about status updates or direct messages from contacts on those social networks. NutshellMail helps users filter out unwanted messages from contacts.
"Users are spending more and more time in their social networks, not necessarily doing productive things but trying to sift through all of the noise to get to the information they really want," NutshellMail co-founder Mark Schmulen told eWEEK in an interview. "People want an easy way to manage their social networks and filter out the noise to get to the information they want."
NutshellMail's SAAS delivery model is also a departure from existing inbox management tools such as Xobni and Gist, both of which users must download. Schmulen also said NutshellMail is different because it's designed for mainstream Internet users; Xobni and LinkedIn are targeted more for power users.
Still, Schmulen and NutshellMail co-founder and COO David Lyman believe consumers and professional users alike will derive value from the service, which is free and will be supported by ads that run in the NutshellMail e-mail digests. Users may sign up for the service here today.
"We developed our service to work through e-mail because it's an application that everyone knows well. We didn't want to force users to log into yet another destination Website or to download another bloated piece of software," added Lyman.