Quick Pitch: Embedly is a platform for converting URLs into embeddable content.
Genius Idea: Embedding all the media on the web.
When traversing the web, most site visitors will stay on a page 250% longer when there’s embedded media, Sean Creeley tells me. This stat is based on findings from a Google AdWords test he ran last year.
Creeley is the founder of Y Combinator startup Embedly; Embedly’s mission is to make it painstakingly easy for publishers and application developers to add that embedded media and better engage their web users.
“The idea is to engage the user where they are,” says Creeley. “We really want to get the user where they live, instead of making them try to jump through hoops to view multimedia content.”
Embedly can make a call to any web URL or RSS feed, grab the associated media — photos, videos, audio and text — and embed it on a third-party site. So, what the “New Twitter” can now do for TwitPic photos and YouTube videos in the stream, Embedly can do for nearly anything.
In fact, Embedly has created the consumer-facing Parrotfish — available as a Safari, Firefox or Chrome plugin — to bring the web’s media from more than 165 providers into the Twitter.com experience. Twitter becomes infinitely richer via Parrotfish and gives all those URLs your friends share in their tweets instant context — even Mashable articles become readable on Twitter.com.
Parrotfish is just proof of Embedly’s behind-the-scenes technology — something you likely encounter as you flit about the web but never notice it. On a daily basis, Embedly serves 5.5 million URLs to 1,100 sites.
Here’s what that means: if you use Yammer, Tweetdeck, Bit.ly Bundles, Storify, Keepstream, Reddit and several other social web products, then you’re using Embedly. Embedly powers the content embedding for all of these services so that URLs come alive as content you can see or hear on site. On Meetup, for instance, Embedly makes it possible for users to add and listen to SoundCloud tracks on site.
The Embedly customer can choose from a free plan with access to 250 providers or the pro plan that unlocks content associated with any URL or RSS feed. The paid service comes with daily, hourly and minute-by-minute breakdowns of the most popular URLs and domains, as well as Google Safe Browse security features to protect their site visitors against masked URL phishing tactics.
In the future, the Boston-based company hopes to help more publishers get their content off their site and assist with the “Youtube-ization of the Internet,” says Creeley. “Every piece of content is going to be able to be shared and embedded elsewhere.”
Look for the startup to push into the mobile frontier first. Embedly plans to release an iOS library and Android library, which will let customers add embedded content into the mobile experience. The company will start accepting signups for beta access next week.