Business

DEMO: Marginize adds a social layer to every webpage

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Marginize is one of 53 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2011 event taking place this week. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present, but our coverage of them remains objective.

Every day, people have conversations about the websites they visit. Marginize, a startup launching today at DEMO, wants to capture these conversations by adding a social layer on top of every webpage.

Founded on the belief that a voice should be heard where it matters most, Marginize lets users directly comment on pages independent of the site itself and to engage in discussions with others. The goal of the service, which is a widget displayed on the right hand side of  a browser (see image below), is to allow users to discover what the world is saying about any page. The service can be added and viewed through an add-on for Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Although a number of companies have tried to create a way for people to write comments on websites independent of the site itself, including the company Third Voice in 1999, Margin differentiates itself by integrating comments from Twitter. Marginize has already been used over 400,000 times and the company believes the integration with Twitter has been pivotal to better achieving critical mass. According to founder Ziad Sultan (pictured), there are over 100 million tweets sent per day, and approximately 25% of these tweets include a URL.

This past month the company launched a publishers widget that, when added to a site, allows users to interact with Marginize without having to install the browser add-on. The company beta tested the service with the business section of the Boston Globe, Xconomy, Brad Feld’s blog, and Onstartups.com, and at the DEMO conference Marginize will officially launch the publisher’s widget to the public.

Marginize, which was founded in 2010, is an alumni of the Techstars program in Boston. The company was founded by Sultan, who studied computer science at MIT and worked as a venture capitalist before founding the startup. Marginize has 9 employees and raised $650K in 2010. Investors in the company include TechStars, Atlas Venture, Longworth Venture Partners, eonBusiness, SOSventures, Dharmesh Shah, Joe Caruso, Jean Hammond, Bill Warner, Will Herman, Michael Mark, and David Cohen.


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