This image shows a few different reactions on a paragraph in a Fast Company Labs article. When a person rolls their mouse over the reaction, such as Clever, ReadrBoard highlights the text that was selected when the person reacted.
Want to know what a reader’s reaction is as soon as he or she reads an article or watches a video? Then, try ReadrBoard (readrboard.com). The free annotation platform captures a reader’s reaction instantly with a click of the mouse. Readers can highlight a piece of text or click on an image, then select a reaction, such as “Love it!” “Not sure” or “Great idea!” They also have the option of typing in and leaving their own reactions. Publishers can customize what ReadrBoard looks like on their pages, including colors, reactions and position.            

For publishers, it’s a simpler way to gauge what readers are feeling and thinking outside of the traditional commenting section. The idea was to make it “easy and fun,” according to co-founder and chief executive officer Porter Bayne.

With media partners like the Bangor (Maine) Daily News, Fast Company and ProPublica working with them, Bayne said publishers have seen an increase in their reader engagement and the reactions readers leave have given them more insight in terms of their editorial strategy.

To use ReadrBoard, publishers just need to sign up and drop in some code on their webpage. ReadrBoard provides publishers with an analytics dashboard to see what on the website is getting more reactions and how long readers stay on site. According to the ReadrBoard website, the platform is getting used on 15 percent of pageviews for their partners. Other features include a summary button that displays a summary of all reactions on the page. Readers can also check out a live stream of reactions from around the web at readrboard.com/stream.

Bayne said the next step is to roll out automated tools and an upgraded dashboard. His goal is to keep the service free and to help publishers over time “directly drive traffic and revenue.”

“ReadrBoard is not meant to replace comments,” Bayne said. “Comments are a reaction to other people, to carry a conversation. ReadrBoard is meant to respond to the content.”

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