Promising to help online publishers increase engagement, ensuring that visitors stick around for longer and return more often, Blooie’s chat and analytics platform gets its official push today. In its initial offering, it provides a way for publishers to embed a chat facility onto their site which connects visitors one-to-one based on shared interests, garnered from semantic analysis of the Blooie-powered sites they visit, their Blooie chat logs and, going forward, their wider interest graph. Off the back of this data, the startup is offering to sell publishers additional analytics, giving an insight into what content drives engagement and the interests their visitors share.
With just “two lines of code”, publishers who sign up to the service can install the Blooie ‘bar’ and chat button on their site, which when invoked by a visitor — who can sign up via Twitter, Facebook or directly — offers to connect them one-to-one with another Blooie user, to start conversing. If no match to a concurrent site visitor can be found, the system broadens its search to any Blooie user with shared interests, so it has the serendipitous aspect of something like Airtime, too.
The Blooie bar isn’t just limited to chat, however. Because the system is building an index of the content featured on Blooie-powered sites, along with a graph of users’ interests, it’s also able to recommend related content on a targeted basis, helping publishers surface older content that otherwise might be gathering dust, as it were.
Along with all of the clever (and monetizable) things that Blooie can do with the data that it’s able to gather and process — machine learning should ensure that its algorithms get smarter over time — the problem that it’s set out to solve is that, currently, most of the socialising around a publisher’s content happens elsewhere, on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. To that end, Blooie says that it tested its technology earlier this year as a discovery platform for 300 delegates at the DIBI developer conference. Since then, over 100 sites have signed up to the service and it expects to reach 1,000 in the next three months.
However, one thing that immediately came to mind when looking at Blooie’s chat proposition and the way it ties into a user’s Interest Graph, is the issue of privacy, considering that chat logs are used to help grow that Interest Graph. And while this is achieved without the intervention of a human (as with any semantic play, it’s based on statistical analysis and done algorithmically) and I’m told that the chat logs themselves are never stored, it does give pause for thought. That said, Blooie is being pretty open about this aspect of the service from the get-go,
Founded in September 2011, Blooie is an alumni of the ignite100 accelerator programme and is based in the U.K. The company has raised £100k in funding to date from the likes of Northstar Ventures and IP Group.