If you’ve ever shared a link on Facebook, you’re probably familiar with the nifty preview image and text that it pulls in from the linked site automatically (it doesn’t always show exactly what you wanted, but it’s usually better than nothing). Most people never think twice about the feature, but when you encounter a similar sharing widget that doesn’t do the same thing, it feels a bit archaic — but it isn’t trivial for developers to build, either. Now Embedly, the startup that specializes in (as you might guess) embedding content, has a solution.
It’s called Embedly Pro, and it went live this morning. The gist of it: Embedly has always offered an API that lets developers easily embed content from some 180 services, like Twitter, YouTube, and Posterous. But that API only works for those services — if you wanted to embed an excerpt from TechCrunch, for example, it wouldn’t be able to do it. That’s changing with Embedly Pro, which promises to let developers generate embeds for nearly any site.
Throw in a link for TechCrunch and Embedly Pro will grab a story excerpt, title, photo, and associated meta data automatically, even though Embedly hasn’t hardcoded support for TechCrunch.com. The same is true for many other sites on the web). Embedly Pro also includes better analytics for developers, and it can detect when a link is malicious.
The premium service has already been implemented by some major online services, including bit.ly, Yammer, and Tweetdeck. In fact, it also powers Embedly’s very cool Parrotfish Chrome Extension, which adds far more embedded content to ‘New Twitter’. Embedly Pro begins at $20 a month for 50,000 URLs (i.e. it will fetch content from 50,000 links), and scales up from there based on usage.
Embedly was part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2010 class, and has also received funding from Betaworks, SV Angel, and Lowercase Capital.