Content on the web is constantly changing and while you can track changes in information manually, it’s often a time-consuming process to monitor the things you care about. Trackle, a personalized web and RSS feed tracker we wrote about earlier this year, is launching a “Trackle It” button that can be added to any site to help users track information instantly while surfing the web.
Trackle .com’s free web service provides real-time personalized RSS feeds for data such as the latest crime in a user’s neighborhood, fluctuating airline ticket prices, how much a user’s house value is down this week, updated job listings, sports scores and more. Now with the introduction of the Trackle button, the tracking service wants to let sites provide instant tracking options directly to consumers and hopes to allow users to “Trackle” an item or feed from anywhere on the web.
The button allows users to automatically sign up to receive notifications about personalized information, such as price drops, new content, messages about products, etc. via email or SMS directly from the site (instead of tracking the item from Trackle’s website, with the Trackle button, the consumer doesn’t have to be signed up to be a user on Trackle’s site). Trackle’s co-founder Pavan Nigam says that the Trackle button, which is sold to sites on a pay-per-action basis, can be incorporated into a site within an hour, using Trackle’s self serve API. He says that the button helps online marketers reach their audience with customized alerts that give users of a site a reason to return. The Trackle feature can be used to generate statistics about what’s most interesting to users. Currently, Trackle has several sites which are testing the beta version of this feature, including EveryTrail.com, Eurekaspot.com and KLDSoccer.com.
Trackle is also offering sites the option of using a Trackle widget, instead of the integration of a Trackle button. The Trackle widget is similar to the button feature and allows users to track any updated information, changes or fluctuations of any item on a site in a widget form. Site owners can choose from over 100 of Trackle’s tracking widgets, ranging from “Local Crime” and “Health” to “Weather.” For example, a ski-website might offer the “Trackle weather” widget to allow its readers to track local snow conditions. Widgets are continually updated and are ad-free.
Trackle is also trying to integrate social media into its tracking service by launching a Trackle Facebook app. The app, which currently can only track sports scores and events, allows you to create a “tracklet” for a team or type of event to be tracked, and then sends you feeds alerts to you within the application. The alerts also go into your News Feed and your friends can see and comment on your Trackle updates. Trackle says it also plans to develop a MySpace app.
As we noted in our original review of Trackle, the breadth and specificity of Trackle’s information is what differentiates the site from other RSS and product tracking applications like Google Alerts, Yotify and Notify.me (which also allows sites to embed a “notify” widget to track items). The introduction of the “Trackle” button is a useful idea, but in order for it to be widely adopted by a variety of users, it needs to be more viral. The “Trackle” button needs to be an option on eBay, or Kayak or Craigslist for it to become truly useful, which is an ambitious task. The integration with Facebook is definitely key and Trackle says that the site will also integrate with Twitter and other social media sites in the future.