Wibiya, the two year old on-site social toolbar provider (held by parent company Modular Patterns), has announced it is launching a developer platform and an open API which will enable third party applications on the Wibiya toolbar. Wibiya has experienced viral growth since it came out of beta in January this year. The Wibiya network reaches more than 175 million unique users a month through its relationships with 80,000 active publishers: from small blogs and e-commerce sites to brands like TheStreet, Philly.com, and Playboy.com. According to Wibiya over 25,000 new websites join the Wibiya network on a monthly basis, and just in the last two months the company has seen a 15-20% growth. It is approaching the reach of Conduit, the successful Israeli startup providing customized downloadable toolbars, which works with 250,000 publishers and 170 million users – except that it took the latter ten years to get there….
Wibiya has also announced that it has partnered with Yahoo!, Bit.ly and AddThis to make it easier for developers to use their different APIs and create great apps that will be added to the Wibiya platform.
Om Malik‘s post points out the impressive growth of Wibiya’s toolbars despite their lack of brand recognition and connects between Wibiya and all the other on-screen toolbars out there, including Meebo’s site bar, the Facebook chat bar and the infamous Diggbar. While they’re all bars, I think that Wibiya wants to take it one step further.
All of the above are pretty much a one-trick pony – the Facebook bar is there for chat, the Meebo bar is great for sharing, the Diggbar tried to do retention, similar to the HootSuite, LinkedIn and Facebook’s iFrames. Wibiya however does all that, and manages to put on a publisher’s website a Swiss army knife of web tools: translate, search, sharing, RSS, Twitter were the beginning. Then came affiliate links as well as other monetization vehicles and with this API, Wibiya could be looking at casual game integration, related videos distribution, coupon codes on e-commerce sites and more, based on the interest level from developers.
Wibiya has raised approximately $2 million to date from Yossi Vardi, Primera Capital and other private investors. The company is based in Israel and has 15 employees.
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