One of the cool plugins I noticed last week on the WSJ was Apture, it was being used to link to a relevant YouTube clip. What I liked about the plugin was that it did not open a new tab or take me away from the article it simply opened a popup window. The advantage is the user experience is improved but also the visitor is much more likely to stay on your website. Apture advise that their plugin offers publishers around 2-3 times more engagement on average.
Apture already has publisher integrations with
- Venture Beat
- The New York Times
- The Financial Times
- Wall Street Journal
Limited scalability with manual tagging
One of the issues that publishers have flagged in the past about Apture is that it can be too much work to create each of the Apture links manually. While it's great to have control over what content or sites you link out to, it's also very time-consuming if the whole process is manual. It seems that a number of the publishers don't always make full use of the plugin and how extensively it is used often comes down to the writer or editor who needs to be more proactive.
Plugin makes it scalable
Back in August 2010 Apture rolled out the first version of their Browser plugin. This meant that it was possible for anyone with the plugin to enable Apture links on any page. this is an improvement on the previous version which only allowed searches within Apture content with the same version of Apture installed.
Apture Highlights Chrome Plugin
There is currently 25,312 Chrome users with the plugin and the audience is growing at around 1,081 weekly installs. You can download the Apture chrome browser plugin here.
Apture Highlights Firefox Plugin
There is currently 366,684 Firefox users with the plugin and the audience is growing at around 20,175 weekly installs. You can download the Apture Firefox browser plugin here.
Search quickly through content
One of the advantages of the plugin for SEOs is that you can quickly define terms and source content directly from within the CMS to bulk out the article you are writing. You don't have to even highlight the whole word as Apture is smart enough to highlight the whole phrase or keyword. The auto-round feature for your text selection ensures you can highlight text recklessly but still get the right results.
Get more information in one place
Once you have highlighted the phrase you can get information from Wikipedia, YouTube, Google Images and Twitter by clicking the Learn More icon. The Apture window also offers results from both Google & Bing which is useful for quick research.
Apture SocialLinks "Beta"
One of the cool new features they are rolling out is Apture SocialLinks (beta). The Apture Highlights automatically turns the most popular search terms into links. The other advantage of this new sociallinks is that it offers click analytics data.
Apture Plugins don't work with AdBlockers
One of the downside to any technology like this is that because of how it operates, many Ad blocking plugins prevent it from functioning correctly. The problem is that many basic users won't have the patience or technical expertise to implement the work around so it will work with Ad blockers installed.
CMS Plugins still needed?
I believe that there is still a need for website owners to have a reasonable amount of control over what external content you are linking to but also to expand the platform beyond just those who have the browser plugin. It would be useful to specify a certain list of keywords that should always be changed to a SocialLink where possible. Similar to Affiliate or Kontera style plugins I should be able to advise of keywords or phrases not to auto tag.
So I suggest you check it out as it's a fairly nifty little browser plugin and you will wonder how you did without it soon enough.