Embed codes are a social media manager’s best friend. They are the fastest, most efficient, and most legal way of finding content published on social networks and then re-posting it to one’s own blog or website.
The embedded content jazzes up a website quickly (including this one), and also contributes to the site’s SEO. The rich, multimedia content usually renders beautifully whatever the underlying content — videos, photos, slideshows, even documents.
Of course, embedding isn’t available for every piece of content published on a public social network. It is at the discretion of the content owner to allow for sharing via embeds.
Embedding is also cost-effective. Photos published via embed codes captured from Flickr or Pinterest, for example, obviate the need to buy credits at iStockPhoto or another online photography agency.
Google was perhaps the leader in embed codes, offering the functionality on YouTube for at least 6 years. The folks at Google realized that they needed a solution early on, as pilfering of copyrighted video was quickly becoming a headache and the use of an embed code allowed video to be shared ethically, legally, and painlessly.
Other social networks and publishers quickly followed suit. Twitter has allowed embedding of tweets for more than two years. This past summer, Facebook enabled public posts to be embedded, and soon after allowed it for Instagram.
Below, an embedded post from the Dancing with the Stars Facebook Fan Page:
And a bowl of ceviche I had for dinner a few weeks ago, thanks to Instagram:
SlideShare, Vimeo, Storify, Scribd — the list goes on of social networks that allow for embeds.
However, besides being a godsend for the social media manager or blogger, the real opportunity lies with advertisers and app developers.
Content curation and aggregation company Repost has quietly amassed a network of 4,000+ publishers — including traditional press release distribution company PR Newswire — who allow their articles and content to be embedded on other sites via Repost’s content syndication service.
Here is an article published by French news agency AFP, which can be published via Repost. (To further this concept, the image below is itself an embed, created using Curate.us, a screen capture tool owned by Repost).
If you notice in the lower portion of the AFP article, there is an advertisement. The advertisement is ported with the article — a boon for publishers’ media kits and extending an advertiser’s reach.
Of course, YouTube videos carry in-stream advertising in the lower middle section of embedded videos.
For developers, embed codes create discovery, and also extend the life and functionality of an app. A recent find was social polling site Wedgies. I sign in via Twitter, create online polls, and then share. Here, a poll I created just for this blogpost:
In fact, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon Wedgies if one of their polls hadn’t been embedded on a tech conference website. Of course, I haven’t yet paid for polls generated by Wedgies but since I’m in love with them so much, when it comes time to consider a premium service — such as SMS polling or displaying the polls live at a conference or training session — Wedgies will be my go-to source.
The path for a publisher could be as follows:
Create content => Encourage embeds => Measure engagement => Encourage paid products
Do you have questions about embed codes, or are you curious about offering an embed code for your content or app? Let’s discuss.