Learnist…Builds Brands and Shares Knowledge
Let’s Take It Back To Inception:
Farbood Nivi, a former teacher of the year for the Princeton Review and academic advisor at Kaplan, founded a company called Grockit in 2007.
Grockit was created as a social learning game company designed to help learners educate themselves through technology. In short, Grockit was an online test prep service geared at aiding students in their preparation to take standardized tests and help them earn their best possible scores. On December 18, 2012, Grockit announced a strategic $20 million dollar investment from Discovery Communications, best known for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC television channels. The announcement also included Uber and Scribd as additional investors along with previous investors Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, GSV Capital, New Schools Ventures, and Integral Capital Partners. Then in 2013, Kaplan acquired Grockit. Kaplan, being a test prep company itself, found the acquisition was a natural fit in the progression of shared learning through technology. With Grockit’s primary focus as instructional online learning for test prep, the acquisition allowed Nivi to focus on a new social learning tool for the company, which he called Learnist. Learnist differs from Grockit and Kaplan in that, it’s a social learning tool championing collaborative learning through sharing with others.
Learnist Has Grown:
Nivi originally developed Learnist for K-12 teachers and students alike, to help users create ‘learn boards’ to assist with studying and learning core curriculum.
In May of 2013, Learnist had around 700,00 registered users with 200,000 of those users being active monthly participants. Additionally, the company disclosed that each month, they received approximately two million page views. In February 2014, Learnist had roughly 10 million users. Talk about growth of the audience and users of a technology product! Today, Learnist is for users that want to share knowledge and collaborate with other subject matter experts. There is a lack of statistical demographical data for Learnist available to the public, but one could argue the target audience is reflective by the type of content that is highlighted on Learnist.
Articles all over the web compare the content communities Learnist and Pinterest to one another. In many instances, Learnist has been dubbed ‘The Pinterest for Education’. CEO Roy Gilbert cites the two communities are very different, but if you explore the functionality and look of the two social platforms, you’ll find they are very similar!
Nivi stated, “The word “integration” means to make something whole, and I think that’s an important point. The goal is for the organization to be optimized — not the individual parts.”
What Learnist Can Do For Your Brand:
Farbood Nivi, stated the following on his LinkedIn account, “We want to be the Instagram of knowledge-sharing… like a smart RSS.”
And that is what Learnist is working towards and striving to do. It is a content community of curious people sharing knowledge about anything and everything. It is taking individuals or brands and brings them together as a whole unit in a synergistic learning environment. Learnist believes in collaboration, that everyone is an expert in something, and that Learnist is the go-to platform to share knowledge with other folks that have the same passion or those that are just curious in nature looking to learn something new.
Learnist offers brands the opportunity to provide value to their consumers through the sharing of knowledge. The Learnist platform establishes brand credibility for all users creating content since they are viewed as the experts in their area of expertise.
Functionality of the site allows for simple browsing of categories or a specific search of a topic. Each board gathers content from multiple sources and complies the content for easy reading and computation. The Learnist app then provides the full article if the user wants to read more about a particular topic. One of my favorite features is after you are done reading an article you can save a board to your reading list and reference it again and again. There are so many times I’ve read content online that I would like to reference at a later date so I print the article not having a virtual bookmark to use, which leads to a stack of paper that eventually gets thrown away…the article never to be referenced again.
Learnist provides content viewing, how-to guides, and educational videos on a variety of subjects. A user can add things to a reading list, create boards, collect things, and follow subject matter experts or brands that the user finds interesting. Lessons or ‘learn boards’ can be annotated with notes and explanations and organized sequentially if needed. Another feature is the virtual checklist, which allows one to mark off learnings that are complete, or suggest new learnings. In addition to this ‘bookmark’ feature of learn boards, content from Learnist can be shared socially across Facebook, Twitter and email.
Learnist On Social:
- Facebook: 80,488 Likes
- Twitter: 9,633 Followers
- Pinterest: 5,100 Followers
- Instagram: 246 Followers
- Linked In: 238 Followers
- Tumblr: Presence
Available When You’re On The Move:
Learnist is offered through Google Play for android phones and the iTunes Store for iOS devices. Learnist audience grew exponentially when it was available through mobile apps for people on the go, especially with the Android version for those that are located internationally. The mobile apps were recently updated to make the experience more immersive and easier for the user to create their own learn boards.
Learnist Is A Money Maker and Has Celebrity Status:
In a strategy to have users coming back for additional content, the Learnist app features premium boards created by topic experts and celebrities.
Currently these premium boards may be purchased for ninety-nine cents. Some of the celebrities being featured are Olivia Wilde, Gus Van Sant, and Dhani Jones.
Nivi’s goal for Grockit and Learnist was to make high-quality education accessible to everyone, and that is what he is accomplishing through these educational learning tools.