Ribbit, the company that lets people easily create phone-like applications within Web sites, has struck a partnership with the online marketing company Sprout to insert “voice” and other phone features into advertising campaigns.
Ribbit, now owned by BT, has captured the imagination of developers because of its cool technology that allows voice call technology to inserted in dynamic ways within Web sites. It is joining with Sprout, a company which has generated its own buzz with its photoshop-like interface for online marketing widgets, to generate campaigns using SMS and other online phone features to increase audience engagement.
Brands and marketers can tap into Ribbit’s online telephone offerings via the Sprout system. There, they can choose which features they want to integrate into their campaigns to best appeal to various demographics. For instance, a car company looking to deploy an interactive campaign could create a widget on Sprout that lets users build their dream cars — including a “click to call” option backed by Ribbit that would let users contact the company directly for more information. In another example supplied by the companies, a movie studio would be able to send a promotional voice or text message from actors in a specific movie to all users that had downloaded a particular app. Telephone capabilities will also be added to traditional banner and display ads online, the companies say.
Ribbit was acquired by BT last fall for $105 million. It opened up its development platform to the public shortly thereafter. Based in Mountain View, Calif., it has strongly encouraged developers to use its API for creative applications, awarding $100,000 to several companies in its Killer App competition earlier this year. It competes with Jaduka, Ifbyphone and IntelePeer. Alternatively, Sprout has raised $8.3 million over two rounds of funding from US Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Global Venture Capital and Lotus 1-2-3 designer Mitch Kapor. Headquartered in San Francisco, its rivals include Wix, Typeroom, Toufee and Yola (formerly Synthasite).
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