Tag Archive | "clearspring"

AddThis Updates Its Publisher Tools With Instant Sharing

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Social widget-maker AddThis is announcing several updates to its service today, which should collectively make for a smoother social sharing experience.

One of the main additions is a feature called instant sharing, which allows users to share content to Facebook and Twitter without having to leave the page that they’re reading. That could doubly help the publishers that AddThis works with. First, because it makes it easier for readers to share content. Second, it’s also more likely that readers will stay on the site after they’ve shared.

AddThis also says that it now offers integrated social sign-in. In other words, if publishers want their visitors to sign-in, those visitors no longer have to create a unique identity for each site — instead, they can sign-in using their existing accounts on Google, Facebook or Twitter.

The sharing tool has also been redesigned into a single column, instead of two. Users shouldn’t need as much on-screen real estate anymore for the different sharing options, because they can now customize the list to show the social networks where they prefer to share. (If you need to share content on more than a handful of social networks, what is wrong with you.) And AddThis says it now offers a single code to create a widget that works across tablets, mobile phones, and the desktop web.

In early tests of the new design and features, AddThis says sharing increased by 11 percent. Publishers won’t automatically be upgraded – they can keep the old design if they want – but the new codes should be available on the AddThis site.

AddThis used to be called Clearspring until earlier this year. Even before the rebranding, the product itself was called AddThis, making AddThis was a more familiar name than Clearspring – hence the change.

The company says it’s now the largest sharing platform on the Web, since it’s used by 14 million websites. (It’s measuring by website-count, not the reach of those websites.) AddThis points to ShareThis as its biggest competitor, ShareThis says works with 1.6 million publishers.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Clearspring Takes AddThis Mobile With Social Sharing SDKs For iPhone, Android And The Web

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Clearspring Technologies, the developer of social sharing platform AddThis, is launching its mobile strategy today, unveiling optimized technologies for the iPhone, Android and mobile web.

For background, the AddThis button sharing tool is currently deployed on 9 million websites worldwide and allows users to easily and quickly share content with others through more than 300 social networking services in 70 languages.

Previously, the company’s AddThis button was able to work on mobile sites, but these specialized versions can be used within apps, and are optimized for the native mobile OS. AddThis for iOS and Android is easy for app developers to implement, says Clearspring, because it is designed and optimized specifically for mobile devices.

Further, there is no additional work for publishers wishing to implement AddThis on the mobile web. The same tool used for the website automatically works in the mobile environment.

And AddThis integrates mobile sharing data from native apps and the mobile web with all other sharing data in an analytics dashboard giving publishers a complete view of the impact of social sharing on traffic. AddThis for iOS is available for download now, and developers can sign up for the Android version due out this summer.

Clearspring also just raised $20 million in new funding.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Whoops Redux: Looks Like Partner Just Leaked Google’s +1 Button For Websites Launch

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Oh, Google. Hate to do this again, but you really need to lock up these partners and get your PR in order.

A week after we got a pitch from a partner NFC company all-but-confirming that Google’s New York City event would be about their mobile payment system (Google Wallet), another partner has reached out ahead of another announcement. This time, an email seemingly confirms that Google is going to launch their +1 button for websites tomorrow.

Here’s the deal: Google reached out to us earlier to see if we’d be interested in getting some “big” news under embargo. We hate embargoes, but Google is generally good at holding them so we play ball from time to time (plus our “sometimes accept embargoes, sometimes don’t” policy keeps everyone on their toes). Anyway, we agreed to hear what Google’s news is. But they haven’t actually told us what the news is yet because our briefing isn’t until later today. So we can’t possibly know what we’re under embargo for. So we’re not under embargo.

Plus, if a partner is sending us unsolicited emails telling us what is being announced, all bets are off anyway.

In this case, Clearspring’s PR company, New Venture Communications, has written us to say that: “I understand that Google planned to reach out to you about the new Google +1 button for websites that they’ll be unveiling shortly. I thought you might be interested in speaking with Hooman Radfar, CEO of Clearspring, about the company’s role as a launch partner for Google +1.”

So, we can probably expect a +1 button tomorrow with Clearspring’s AddThis tool on board to serve it up. A bit more:

The +1 button is designed to help publisher’s content stand out in search results by giving users the ability to +1 content. The more chances users get to +1 content, the more likely publishers’ URLs are to show up in search results with +1 annotations. This helps users highlight which results are most useful and helps publishers better engage with their audience.

You may recall that earlier this month, Google “accidentally” leaked their +1 Chrome extension via a commercial. That extension is still not available. The +1 button is slightly different in that publishers would presumably be able to embed it on their own sites. Given that this can alter the way Google Search results are served up, this is potentially a big deal.

Presumably, we’ll be under embargo shortly on all of this, so expect to hear more tomorrow. Heh. Unless a partner emails us more details first!

Information provided by CrunchBase

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

AddThis Indeed: Clearspring Raises $20 Million As It Rides Social Sharing Boom

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The name Clearspring Technologies may not be terribly familiar to you, but chances are you’ve often clicked on or at least come across its AddThis buttons, which are plastered on publisher sites Web-wide.

The U.S.-based social sharing platform company this morning announced that it has raised a whopping $20 million in a Series D round of funding led by Institutional Venture Partners, with existing backers such as NEA and Novak Biddle Venture Partners participating.

The extra capital injection brings total funding raised by Clearspring to $58 million.

The investment comes as the company, which was founded in 2008, is experiencing rapid growth; Clearspring says it is hiring a new employee almost every week.

The company’s AddThis sharing tool is currently deployed on 9 million websites worldwide, Clearspring says, enabling users to share content with others through more than 300 social networking services in 70 languages.

Sandy Miller, a partner at Institutional Venture Partners, which also invested in high-profile startups like Twitter and Zynga, says Clearspring currently processes some 10 TB of data every day, “as much data per week as the entire digital Library of Congress has stored online”.

Clearspring says the funding will be used to develop new and enhance existing publisher products and bolster its advertising offerings – the company makes money by gathering insights on what large scores of Internet users read and share with their friends in real time, and selling that data to companies who can benefit from these insights (think ad exchange operators and demand-side platform providers). Revenue is on track to triple this year, the company claims, although absolute numbers to back that up were not provided.

The company says it also plans to explore strategic acquisitions (bootstrapped but profitable rival AddToAny springs to mind).

Aside from Institutional Venture Partners, NEA and Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Clearspring investor include former AOL president Ted Leonsis, AOL founder Steve Case, Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris, and Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

After 5 Years Of Facilitating Sharing On The Web, AddToAny Turns A Profit

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Like Twitter, AddToAny turns five years old this week. It doesn’t garner even a fraction of the attention that venture-backed competitors like Clearspring (AddThis), Gigya and ShareThis do, but it has definitely put its stake in the social sharing widget ground.

Note: the above-cited rivals have raised roughly $90 million combined, while AddToAny has never taken outside financing since it was founded back in 2006.

Still, the AddToAny button is one of the most distributed widgets on the web, and according to the company the most distributed widget from a bootstrapped startup. AddToAny is now even a lucrative business, and has gotten to that point without spending a dime on marketing.

How is the service monetized? AddToAny sells (anonymous) aggregate sharing data, which is used by clients to increase the relevancy of their ads. Income has been admittedly small, but revenue projections for 2012 range in the seven figures.

Being one of the first to offer a social sharing and bookmarking widget for website publishers has helped AddToAny a lot to get where they are now, but there’s more to it than that.

Founder Pat Diven II says he has never felt the need to raise outside funding, although he reckons it might be fairly easy to secure financing if he wanted to. That said, he basically regards AddToAny as one of his side projects and wants to keep things simple and stable first and foremost. That strategy has worked wonders for the service given its steady growth rate.

Diven II says that there have been many serious and casual buy-out offers over the years, but that the focus remains squarely on the user and publisher experience rather than ‘exiting’.

Today, AddToAny handles over a billion widget loads and millions of shares every month, and boasts a total reach of over 100 million visitors.

And what has Diven II concluded based on that wealth of data? That over 60 percent of all sharing activity is not to Facebook, Twitter, or email, meaning that (what the entrepreneur calls) “me-too, niche, long-tail, and non-U.S. sharing destinations” still matter.

Information provided by CrunchBase

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Open URL Sharing Protocol OExchange Gets Support From Google, Microsoft, Et Al.

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OExchange, a simple specification for URL-based content sharing on the Web, was introduced today by a number of online service providers and social networks. The open link-sharing protocol has gained support from Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Digg, Instapaper, StumbleUpon, Clearspring Technologies and a handful more.

So what’s it all about?

OExchange essentially establishes a common way for services like Posterous and Google Buzz to receive content. The protocol defines how third-party tools, e.g. Clearspring’s bookmarking and sharing service AddThis, can dynamically discover and share content to these services, as well as how sharing tools can read and set a user’s sharing preferences.

A number of these services, like Google Buzz and Instapaper, have already implemented the protocol, which together with others such as OpenID and OAuth intends to making sharing content on the Web completely open. OExchange is licensed under the Open Web Foundation Agreement – you can get the specs here.

Chris Messina, Open Web Advocate at Google, has this to say about the new protocol:

“The key to increasing the amount and quality of sharing online is smoothing out the user interaction. By simplifying the underlying mechanism for cross-site sharing with OExchange, people can focus on what they’re sharing, rather than how.”

Do you agree that there’s a need for an open URL sharing protocol (which companies like Twitter and Facebook seem to doubt, since they’re not supporting it)?

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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