Kiwi Conversations searches community sites to find forum comment threads about the url you're visiting.
As you browse the web - Kiwi checks to see if there have ever been any conversations on reddit, Hacker News, and Product Hunt about the web page you're visiting. It also checks Google News for related news.
You can also make a custom search (any string of characters) across all the services. This returns the all-time best conversations about whatever you're searching. Try "MacBook", the place you live, or anything you want to learn about.
As you browse the web it searches for conversations: If it finds any results -- the icon updates with a letter depending on what it finds ('r','h','p', or 'G'). If it finds conversations with a *ton* of comments - it capitalizes the letter. So "R" means that thirty or more people commented in a Reddit thread about the site you're visiting. etc.
To view the results, just click the icon.
There's more information available at www.metafruit.com
Home page: www.metafruit.com/kiwi
Kiwi uses 3rd party APIs to provide conversations while you surf.
With Research mode to "Off" by default, you can check URLs on a case-by-case basis (and still be able to do custom searches). Admittedly, it takes some of the serendipity out of it, but this prevents Kiwi from automatically performing searches as you surf.
[Version 1.0.1 Note:: Kiwi Conversations now has Research Mode 'off' by default and has a Whitelist feature that lets certain sites (e.g., news sites, blogs, etc.) be automatically checked. You can also just toggle Research Mode 'on' and every URL will be auto-searched.]
(More technical): Kiwi doesn't cache any personal info in localStorage or sync storage (which at least Chrome does not encrypt :< ). The api results are stored in a local variable within the scope of the extension. And the "history" is a hashed and padded blob.
[Version Note 1.1.8 - some of the search APIs were unavailable for several hours on 2015-8-16. this led to a poor user experience, so I have implemented several changes, chiefly: if a service is down - there will be a message notifying you of the network outages (which you can dismiss) -- and the rest of the results will flow in as they normally would. :) phew, thanks for hanging around. i've tested this as well as I reasonably can, but if you notice any bugs, let me know at @spencenow on the twitters, thanks again!]
[Version Note 1.1.4 to existing users: the extension now has the option to also check for Product Hunt submissions! (You won't be opted-in automatically if you had it installed before 2015-8-14). This does require you to agree to new permissions because of the new API. Sorry for the inconvenience.]
Kiwi uses 3rd-party APIs (Reddit, Algolia for HN, Product Hunt API [with Algolia Search for custom string searches] and Google News) to provide conversations about the URLs you are visiting while you surf.
By default, you (the Chrome extension user) must click the green “Research this Url” button while currently visiting a specific URL in order for Kiwi to research the conversations for it. Research Mode can of course be toggled to "on", so Kiwi Conversations automatically checks for conversations (on Reddit, HN, Product Hunt, Google News).
Whenever these services are queried, the requests are sent over HTTPS (an encrypted protocol).
You can toggle any of the specific APIs off/on in settings.
The results of these research results and other user-related URL history info is not persisted to local storage. Instead, this user data is stored in locally scoped variables of the extension.