Gravity, an online startup that helps publishers personalize content for their readers, has just made its suite of APIs available so that all publishers have free access to the platform.
Gravity’s technology allows publishers to offer personalized homepages to each person who visits their site, taking users’ specific interests and activity into account, while also leaving editors room to curate some of the content so they can include viral or popular articles with those that best fit with their readers’ interests.
If you’re interested in a less involved personalization experience on your site, Gravity also offers widgets so that the whole homepage isn’t necessarily based on personalization, but visitors can still see a list of articles that would be more likely to interest them.
The photo on the right shows a “Recommendations for You” widget that can appear on a site and give recommendations for visitors. And the photo on the left shows an example of a homepage that can be more fully customized for each visitor.
The new API options allow publishers to gain more control over how the personalization on their sites or mobile apps appears.
The company, which was originally founded in 2009 by three former Myspace executives, uses a tool called an interest graph to find and recommend topics that are relevant to readers.
The process starts with Gravity processing tweets, status updates, articles, blogs, RSS feeds, and other user actions. It then processes user behavior, such as clicks, reads, shares, and likes through its partner sites and apps.
Then, Gravity uses all of its information to create interest graphs for users, as well as for websites and pieces of content like individual articles. Then the graphs evolve in real time, taking into account factors like users’ sharing and reading history, social trends, and other interest graphs.
For web publishers, tailoring content to your readership could help you stand out in an overly saturated market. Since anyone can post content online, making yours stand out simply by trying to deliver high quality content might not be enough. But making it easier for readers to find relevant items could keep them on your site longer and increase the likelihood of them becoming returning visitors.
The platform is supported by advertising, so users will have to deal with some sponsored stories in order to take advantage of the free service. However, Sponsored Stories can also help publishers make some extra money from third party advertisers.