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You Just Might Be Living On the Dark Side Of The Web

D.C.’s Markerly looks to illuminate the web

In October, The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal coined dark social and set off an internet firestorm. Dark social is not as cool as it sounds – the term describes referrals from email or social nets largely invisible to traffic analytics – but it is a very real phenomenon. And it means that most sites have little idea where much of their traffic comes from.

D.C.-based startup Markerly is hoping to shed some light into those dark corners of the internet. With a few lines of code, sites can add a sharing widget to their site – hovering over a photo or highlighting text pulls up the Markerly share buttons, letting users push out content to friends with just a few clicks.

Significantly, in a crowded sharing analytics space, Markerly allows users to share specific parts of text or an individual image, rather than an entire article. The startup also allows publishers to see data that was once hidden in the deep, dark social web. “Publishers just don’t know what their readers really love or what they’re engaging with,” Markerly co-founder Sarah Ware told us. “As a result they’re losing the chance to give readers what they love. With Markerly, publishers are able to access analytics through their dashboard and better understand their audience.”

Founded in April of this year, Markerly already boasts almost one million users. The team is currently in Mountain View, California, as part of 500 Startups’ Fall 2012 Accelerator Program.

Now go forth (and keep it light).

Nitty Gritty:

69: % of social referrals from dark social, per Madrigal

5,022: # of times Madrigal’s article was tweeted

??: # of times Madrigal’s article was truly shared


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