We recently invested in Tynt as part of an $8M financing with Panorama Capital, Greycroft Partners, iNovia Capital, Disruptive Ventures, Newport Coast Investments (Chad Steelberg), W Media Ventures (Boris Wertz), Joe Apprendi (Collective Media), Allen Morgan (Mayfield Partners), Erik Matlick (Madison Logic), and Yen Lee (Uptake.com). It’s a great team, most of the investors we have known for quite some time and/or co-invested with on a number of ventures. Here are some insights into why we invested in Tynt.
Many think of Tynt as the “copy-and-paste” company because of their patent pending technology that enables the tracking of copy-and-paste activity on Web sites. Tynt has discerned there are basically only three reasons users copy-and-paste information from Web sites: (1) to search by pasting it into a search box, (2) to promote the information by pasting it into an email to send to someone else, or (3) to archive it for future reference. In general, assume the proportions are 45%/45%/10% respectively. Tynt’s algorithms essentially “know” which is which in real time. The copied information may be text from an article, a product form an ecommerce site, and so on.
Approximately 87% of Web users copy-and-paste every month and Tynt’s network already has over 450,000 thousand sites, tracking almost 10 billion page views a month (see recent post by Fred Wilson on the 1 billion page view mark, albeit different traffic). This in turn generates about 200 million copy-and-paste actions, which in turn result in hundreds of millions of search queries and email forwards a month. And Tynt has another 40 billion or so page views of publisher installs in the works now and an expanding pipeline. The product is less than one year in market, and monetization services are launching– here are some examples.
If the copy action is for a search, the publisher may use Tynt’s SpeedSearch product, which enables a fade-up window to appear before the paste is made into a search bar. This is important for a publisher because that activity almost always results in a Google search where the publisher loses its visitors and all chance for monetization of the associated traffic (John Battelle wrote on this attribute). SpeedSearch serves the publishers site/network search results first, as well as the option for syndicating in paid search and adding display ad units. This retains and monetizes traffic for publishers, solving a huge pain point.
If the copy action is to promote publisher information via email, when the visitor pastes into any email client, Tynt appends a link back to the source on the publisher site. Upon clicking the link, the user is taken to the exact location of the page where the copy action happened and the copied information is highlighted in yellow. These link-backs enhance search engine optimization for publishers, drive valuable traffic (often new users) back to the site, and present the publisher an advertising opportunity below the link in the email.
Perhaps most important in Tynt’s data is the measure of user engagement on a Web site. Page views and time spent per page have been the typical metrics to date and are fairly blind. Tynt goes much deeper. A publisher of a Webs site can now know in real time what the most important information is to users by the copy-and-paste activity – this is a level of engagement and relevancy measurement that previously did not exist. This allows the site manager to tune its content, headlines, tweets, newsletter subject lines, and so on for far greater efficiency to site visitors and monetization. This can also be extremely useful for publisher ad targeting as well as third party targeting based on the real time relevancy of the information on a per user basis as well is in the aggregate.
The engagement and relevancy real time data has endless uses. SpeedSearch is one great example where the product truly displaces a Google search based on the new real time data at the publisher site level of interaction. We ran a test on how relevant the copy-and-paste data was as a measure of user engagement. We set up a search engine with algorithms using only this data and ran searches on it and compared the results against Google search results. The Tynt data produced far more relevant search results, so much so it was truly shocking.
User-driven engagement data is extremely powerful and Tynt has barely begun to tap the opportunities with data mining and licensing, advertising and targeting, search and so on. Many third party companies are coming up with their own uses, from ad networks to publishers, content and eCommerce sites, portals and search engines. One thing is becoming obvious from the uses that are already in-market and/or being developed: This real time data actually quantifies user engagement in a tangible and actionable way, and that engagement data is truly displacing previously real time data into latent data by being a step ahead in the process.leave a response below or return to the blog homepage.