Snap next to be snapped up after Wordpress adoption?

, posted: 13-Jan-2007 10:26

Snap PreviewsYou've probably seen the little webpage previews on Geekzone and the blogs here (if you have Javascript enabled), courtesy of Snap, a Pasadena, California-based company founded by Bill Gross. Once you get used to them, they're quite useful although some commentators like ReadWrite/Web's Alex Iskold favour browser-based extensions like Cooliris instead.

However, the advantage Snap previews have over browser based ones is that you can deploy them site-wide, without asking visitors to install software. in the case of Cooliris, there is only a Firefox extension, which rules out the vast majority of users with Internet Explorer as their browser and leave Mac die-hards with Safari only out in the cold.

Snap may have hit the big time with the previews now, thanks to Wordpress installing it on the ten per cent of blogs that participate in its beta programme. This amounts to 600,000 blogs, apparently. That's the kind of figure that makes "serial acquirers" wanting to boost Internet portfolios salivate, even though it isn't clear what the business model behind the previews is.

If you look at Snap's website, it seems to be yet another search engine contender that tries to differentiate itself by offering graphical previews of results, instead of just text like say Google and Yahoo. There is an advertising programme and sponsored search results as well, which Snap perhaps could somehow weave into the previews.

As the previews are small however, it'd be hard to do it without detracting from the information people want - and there's the risk of the previews becoming yet another ad nuisance like the much loathed IntelliTxt.

Still, immaterial things like revenue and business models don't seem to bother purchasers buying into high adoption numbers; Snap reckons that in just two months, 30,000 sites have signed up with them. This in turn has generated some 70 million page views.

Maybe the popularity and traffic generation figures will draw out the suitors for Snap, which received $10 million in venture funding through Mayfield in July 2005. Certainly, with 600,000 more blogs onboard, the page view count should look impressive.

Update I was wrong about Cooliris: it does in fact support IE6 (IE7 coming up) and Safari as well as Firefox. Sorry about that.

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