Visual.ly’s new service lets anyone make infographics, even if they stink at Photoshop

Infographics startup Visual.ly is launching its automated service today that plans to quench the public’s thirst for interesting and visually stimulating data without the need of Photoshop or a team of expensive designers.

Visual.ly’s service intends to create custom infographics using information from various databases and APIs, such as those from social networks or statistics. Users only need to specify the kind of information they want to visually display to produce an infographic. The company showed an example of what the service can do with its Twitter Visualization Project in July, as VentureBeat previously reported.

The new service allows people to plug in data from their Twitter or Facebook accounts, but more data integration from other places will soon follow, Stew Langille, co-founder and CEO of Visual.ly told VentureBeat.

“Social media is really just the first step in what we’re trying to accomplish,” Langille said, adding that the company is working to make things like sports statistics available through their infographic service. “Increasingly, there will be more tools for people to use for free.”

The automated infographic service is available for free to everyone now and is the first step of Visual.ly’s plan. Step two, Langille said, will be to roll out a premium version to brands and companies. Visual.ly sports a collection of over 11,000 infographics (shared by its users), 4,000 designers, and about 2 million unique visitors per month.

Founded in 2011, the startup raised an initial $2 million round of funding in October from Crosslink Capital, SoftTech VC, 500 Startups, Kapor Capital and others.

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