Credit: Image be n0tice on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Pressfolios, a three-in-one portfolio service for journalists, has launched into public beta today with both free and pro account options.

The launch includes new features for all users and offers pro account option, including unlimited storage space, a custom domain name, RSS integration and the option to make their site private.

"It's about providing a tool to help journalists take control of their published work and their personal branding," co-founder Marc Samson told "That's the goal we're building towards, and the future 'set' that we've developed around is the personal repository, cloud back up and the website builder all wrapped into one."

Once people meet us for the first time the usual response is 'where have you been all my life'Marc Samson, co founder, Pressfolios
The new features build on the last iteration of the site – the "public-facing"  Pressfolio display which includes a large, personalised header image, featured stories, and an "about" section, launched in March – with specific back-end upgrades.

"Even though we've been online for a while we are considering Tuesday our starting point in a lot of ways," Samson said. "This is the version of Pressfolios that we've always wanted to build and we've been working towards. That said, as we continue to expand from here we have two main areas of development that we'll be focussing on: automation and customisation."

A Google Chrome extension to enable users to clip articles directly from the web will be available to all users but further automisation and customisation options will only be available through the $12-per-month pro-accounts.

Pressfolio users with a free account receive 12 stories worth of space upon signing-up and, in the same way the Dropbox rewards referrals with additional storage, Pressfolio users receive an extra five stories of space for each friend or colleague that signs up, with "no cap to the number of friends or colleagues you can invite and stories you can earn".

The "bulk upload" and "follow" RSS integration options are key to the automation process, Samson said, giving users the ability to import stories from an RSS feed and choose which ones to display, or simply have the platform pull in individual stories from a feed as they are published.

"We are trying to be very considerate of publishers' copyright," Samson said. "On the public-facing site, the only things we show are links to the original publisher's site."

pressfolios screenshot

Every story that is added, irrespective of the type of account, will have a "screenshot style" PDF of the original article's web pages and a "full text back-up", in the style of Instapaper or Pocket, both available in the user's personal repository should their story ever go offline from the original publisher's site.

"Several thousand journalists" have already signed up for Pressfolios, Samson said, including feature writer Alex Hannaford, author and journalist Bill Barol  and BBC senior world affairs producer Stuart Hughes. More are expected to join as the platform goes public.

"We don't expect there will be tons of people searching for us in Google because people don't realise they want us. When someone comes across us – whether that's reading about us in an article or someone tweeting about us or talking to us on Twitter or someone explicitly sending a friend or colleague an invite – once they meet us for the first time the usual response is 'where have you been all my life?'.

"The reason I think that is, is that you can look at PDFs and you can build a website but I think what makes Pressfolios special is the fact that we are building more utility into it. We're building around a well-rounded system. We just don't expect people to know that they need us."

There are a number of portfolio sites built with journalists in mind. Here is a list of five free journalist portfolio platforms and details on Journo Portfolio, which launched after that list was published.

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