I noticed this news piece today. I have previously written about open peer review platform. Most of the recent initiatives in open peer review are entirely new platforms that provide the mechanics to get open peer review going, but in my opinion a challenge for them is to attract a critical mass of users.
Academia.edu’s move seems a bit the other way around: they already have an existing science-related platform with a quite a few users, but now they are adding peer review functionality. It is not entirely clear to me whether this means open review, but the mechanism they describe could help address the challenge of how to attract sufficient numbers of qualified reviewers to such a platform. The article does hint at the possibility that academia.edu might try to “build a reveue model around their modern approach to peer review”. I am not a fan of such a model, as this is one of the things that are wrong with the traditional journal publishing model. Nevertheless, it is going to be interesting to see how it goes.