Look Ahead: Highly Lets Readers Highlight and Share the Most Interesting Parts of an Article

Users can share story highlights with other friends on Highly as well as Twitter and Facebook.

It’s a situation all of us have likely found ourselves in at some point in time. You’ve come across an intriguing article and want to share it but are doubtful anyone may actually read it, especially if the story is a longer one.

With Highly, users can highlight and share the main points of a story, allowing others to quickly grasp the context and essential components of an article. The free tool is available as an extension on Chrome and Safari and as an app for the iPhone and iPad.

“Highly is purpose-built for sharing the important parts of any story—for passing along that feeling you got when you read the passage,” said Andrew Courter, Highly co-founder. “Highlighting gets people on the same page, fast.”

The online highlighter has a social aspect to it as well. After creating an account, users can share highlights with their friends on Highly and other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. There is no limit to the number of public highlights a user can post.

“People have been very gracious, sharing kind words and offering lots of ideas for us to pursue,” Courter said. “When they find us—a company focused on sharable web highlights and building a consumer-grade app—they’re quite vocal about what they want. We love to listen and learn.”

According to Courter, the tool has strengthened the relationship between the reader and the writer, as Highly users regularly tweet their highlights and mention the story’s author in their posts. Even some of the authors themselves, Courter said, have informed him of the value that comes with uncovering the most engaging portions of a story they wrote.

Andrew Courter

“It’s funny to think that these brilliant writers have gone most of their careers without really knowing which lines or ideas have struck a chord with readers—now they can see it plainly, and they’re giddy,” Courter said. “The same goes for newsrooms and editorial teams alike. Imagine the stories they’ll tell now that they have this feedback loop.”

This year, the company will be working with a cross-section of publishers to experiment with ways to bring the tool to their readers.

“A number of high-end publishers—the Atlantic and New York Times come to mind—have shipped then shelved their own highlighter platforms,” Courter said. “Readers won’t ever make a habit of highlighting if they can’t use it across properties, and we are 100 percent focused on helping readers share the parts they love.”

For more information, visit highly.co.

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