TrendSpottr, the Toronto-based startup looking to predict the curve and help businesses, brands and publications get out in front of trending content, today officially launched its new Widgets product, which allows anyone with a website to take what the startup has until now provided via its own back-end dashboard and put that on their public-facing site. News publications can display a stream of what’s trending on Twitter in a particular subject area, for instance, with an alternative to traditional Twitter widgets that generally only provide a chronological stream based on recency.
The startup uses proprietary algorithms to catch trending content early on in its popularity arc; users can see in real-time what’s poised to become huge, theoretically before it reaches widespread saturation, helping them to share content at the beginning of its surge, or organize coverage of a topic or news item in time for it to hit the height of its hype cycle. Widgets bring that power to a website’s front page, something TrendSpottr founder Mark Zohar sees as an opportunity for the startup to work together with news publications to bring in better advertising opportunities.
“We’ve launched this as a free version initially, it comes with our branding on it,” he said. “Over time, we’ll include some sponsored advertising in there, and we’re launching a publisher version of this in a few weeks which will allow publishers to have a fully white label solution. That’ll be a paid model, but interestingly what we’ve found in our early discussions with publishers is that they actually see this as a revenue opportunity.”
TrendSpottr is already working with a few publishing partners to sell promoted stories to brands within the TrendSpottr widget, so that their content can appear next to the stories with the most traction in a space that’s relevant for them. It’s a play that fits in nicely with the drive towards content marketing that brands have been adopting in recent years, spawning the advent of services like Contently.
TrendSpottr has a lot of competition in terms of similar offerings from other companies and startups that provide access to trending or relevant content, including countless plugins for WordPress, aggregators like Storify and others. But Zohar thinks that TrendSpottr’s unique blend of bubbling up not just the right tweets, but the best content before it reaches critical mass in terms of virality will help it win the attention of publications caught in a constant race to be not only the best when it comes to the news cycle, but also among the first to spot stuff that people will actually be interested in.
“We really focus on all signal, no noise,” Zohar claims, which contrasts with solutions that take a basic firehose approach to relaying content from social media sources on third-party sites. That could help it provide a better value proposition to advertisers, who are still looking for innovative and effective ways to make the jump from print to digital advertising as publications follow their readership online.
There are other opportunities for TrendSpottr to provide value to businesses willing to pay to be on the cutting edge of trends as they emerge. The company intends to launch a new Alerts feature sometime in the coming weeks, which will provide early emailed snapshots of what’s on the verge of going viral to decision makers who don’t necessarily have time to monitor a dashboard, but want to be kept in the loop with information in a timely manner so that they can act on it.
With monetization strategies coming together and a way to drive value for print publications making the transition online, TrendSpottr has a solid business model in place. But it will have to continue to demonstrate its ability to spot trends before they start, and make sure that its platform can lead to instant, actionable consequences for its clients in order to grow in the highly competitive real-time analytics market.