Before Twitter and Facebook, the easiest way for Internet users to share content was to copy information and paste it into e-mails. One startup thinks there's a way for publishers to cash in on the behavior.
Tynt, a San Francisco-based analytics company, is working with a raft of publishers, including Time Inc. and Conde Nast titles, to help them determine what topics people are most engaged with based on their copying habits. Tynt returns the analytics to publishers that can make money from people copying their content.
"That data signal is pretty massive of what topics are interesting," said Chris Albinson, managing director at Panorama Capital, who has joined Tynt's board of directors.
The company has closed an $8 million Series B round of funding. The round was led by Panorama Capital and includes several other investors, including Metamorphic Ventures, iNovia Capital and Disruptive Ventures.
Tynt's technology detects when users highlight words on a publisher's page and copy that content. If users copy keywords on a site like SI.com, they will see a pop-up box pre-populated with search results supplied by Yahoo. Tynt plans to supplement those results with ads soon.
Tynt also enables publishers to insert a link into text copied from their sites. They can use that to promote services or even advertisers. SI, for example, includes a link back to the original story and another to a magazine subscription offer.
"There's a massive war happening between the publishers and search engines in terms of driving traffic around the Web," said Albinson.
Tynt has signed 450,000 publishers to its service. It plans to use the new investment to expand further, including in Europe and Asia. It previously closed a $3.9 million Series A round.
According to Albinson, Tynt returned 100 million search queries in response to copying actions in the last month.