Promoting Social Interaction on the Web



By: SAMMY HUDES  
Published: August 12th 2010
in Economics » Israel

Wibiya
Pic: Wibiya

Wibiya, a hot, new Israeli start-up, aims to condense dozens of social media functions into a small, space-saving strip at the bottom of a website or blog.

 

The company was founded in 2008 by Dror Ceder, Daniel Tal and Avi Smila. A few months ago, Wibiya raised $2 million from Primera Capital. Another investor of the company is Israeli internet guru Yossi Vardi, the original backer of the company.

 

This light blue, translucent toolbar can be seen at the bottom of any page on Shalom Life. It allows visitors of the website to instantly “like” a company’s Facebook fan page, and write on its “Wall” without indicating the website that is being viewed. On Shalom Life, articles can be shared via email, or via social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Digg and Google Buzz.

 

According to Wibiya’s website, the toolbar also features “Smart Share, Real Time Notifications and Statistics, 3D picture galleries, 3D YouTube video galleries and much, much more.” The Wibiya toolbar, which can translate sites into over 40 languages, also allows users to see how many other people are viewing the same website as them, and chat with their social media friends without having to leave the website being viewed.

 

According to co-founder Dror Ceder, Wibiya will soon be releasing a developer website with an open Application Programming Interface (API). This will make it even easier for application developers to build Wibiya-compatible apps, he told ISRAEL21c. Much like Apple, Wibiya has created its own application ecosystem which allows third party developers to add their own web products to the toolbar for free.

 

Since the toolbar is available to both third party developers and publishers at no cost, Wibiya intends to make money using a different method. “We work with high end publishers including Philly.com, Playboy and even the [confectionary vendor] Jellybelly.com on either a revenue-share model or one that’s based on performance,” said Cedar. “We deal with them directly to build a tailor-made solution.” Cedar also mentioned that Wibiya is planning to soon introduce premium paid packages for web publishers with “for example, the ability to integrate your own advertisements into the toolbar.”

 

 

 

Among the many popular applications that exist on Wibiya, there is one that automatically transforms links on a website into “affiliate ads.” If a product is bought via such an ad, the website publisher keeps 70 per cent of the revenue. Among the 25,000 users of this program is none other than Amazon.

 

The toolbar also offers apps that are aimed to raise money for charitable causes. A link can be placed on the toolbar that leads to a particular organization’s “Causes” page on Facebook, or visitors can simply donate using PayPal.

 

Users do not have to feel be paranoid that Wibiya may follow them around or track what they are doing on the web, says Cedar. Wibiya is “an enabler. We don’t do anything automatically and we don’t save your information. We’re completely transparent.”



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