The concept behind Storylane is pretty straightforward — founder Jonathan Gheller wants it to be the home for personal thoughts and stories that go deeper than a quick Facebook or Twitter update.
The site prompts users to answer questions like “What have you learned from your failed relationships?” and “What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?” You can follow individual users to see their stories, and there are also pages to browse trending content across the whole site and within individual topics. You can’t post full comments, but you can hit buttons to say that you liked a story, or that it inspired you, and so on.
The Storylane Reader iPhone app is a more stripped-down version of the experience, offering a stack of content for you to browse, so you can enjoy a story or two while you’re waiting for the bus or whatever. The experience is supposed to be personalized based not just on the people you follow but also the feedback that you’ve given. When I open the app I see a pretty broad (and not obviously personalized) range of content, with titles like “You must fall in love three times” and “Surprises, I love Surprises!” but then I haven’t been a very active Storylane user. (Sorry, I guess I like my social media glib and shallow.) It’s also a good-looking app — I think I prefer the iPhone design to Storylane’s look on the web.
If you’re posting stories, you can also get notified about feedback. However, you can’t post stories directly from your phone — which I suppose makes sense, given the company’s emphasis on thoughtfulness.
In addition to launching the iPhone app (which you can download here), founder Jonathan Gheller announced that users have now shared 200,000 stories on Storylane.