Today is an exciting day at Scribd! We are launching a new document viewer we built called iPaper, as well as the Scribd Platform, which allows other websites to easily integrate with iPaper and to monetize documents. This is the biggest launch in Scribd’s history since we first launched the website nearly a year ago, and we are very happy with what our team has accomplished.
We built iPaper to replace FlashPaper, the document viewer we previously used on the website. We thought this was important to give our users the best document viewing experience for sharing documents in a web browser. Another big plus with iPaper is that documents will convert to iPaper in a matter of seconds with an extremely high conversion success rate. We’re really excited about iPaper and believe that it is the future of how documents are published and shared online.
We built the Scribd Platform because so many of of our users asked for a way to provide Scribd’s document services on your own websites. The Scribd Platform is consistent with Scribd’s mission of making it easier to share documents online, except the platform provides this service to websites instead of individuals. We hope that the Scribd Platform will help bring the Scribd experience to every website on the Internet.
Another aspect of the Scribd Platform is that we allow content owners to monetize their documents. There are a lot of documents out there on the Web that are not being monetized, and by working with Google’s advertising program, we hope to change that and provide a new source of revenue for content owners.
Our official press release is below. It discusses more details on our new products. This is an exciting day for Scribd and we are glad that you are here for it!
SCRIBD LAUNCHES PLATFORM AND IPAPER – A DOCUMENT VIEWER DESIGNED FOR THE WEB
iPaper Lets Users View any Type of Document Directly in their Web Browser, Serving as the Internet Alternative to PDF; Platform Makes it Easy for Any Website to Integrate with iPaper for Free and Offers a Built-in Ad System for Documents
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., February 19, 2008— Scribd, the leading site for sharing documents on the Internet with over 10 billion words of text uploaded, today announced iPaper, a new document format built for the Web. iPaper is the first full-featured Web-based document viewer and is more like a YouTube video than it is like a PDF. Through a Flash widget that streams documents from Scribd’s servers, documents can be viewed directly in a browser without software downloads.
To date, document viewing applications, like Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word, have been designed as installed software and sold per copy. iPaper takes document viewing online, letting users publish and view documents inside their web browser for free.
The primary design goals of iPaper were that it be fast, light and easy to use. At 100 KB the iPaper application is about 1/1000th the size of Adobe’s Acrobat Reader software, making it an incredibly fast way to view documents. Despite the tiny size, iPaper integrates Scribd’s social features, like emailing and embedding, and an elegant security system that allows content owners to protect their work without clumsy DRM solutions. iPaper also builds on the rich features of PDF, including full text search, copy/paste functionality and various view modes and zooms.
“Documents formats like PDF and DOC were designed before the Web was as pervasive as it is today, and were originally meant to be shared using floppy disks”, said Trip Adler, Scribd’s co-founder and CEO. “In 2008 everything is online and most documents are created to be shared in some way over the Internet. We designed iPaper as an online standard that brings the best of existing formats straight into the browser. Our goal is to create the best document-viewing experience possible for the Web.”
Also launched today, the Scribd Platform is a set of tools that allow anyone to bring the iPaper experience to their own website. The Scribd.com website allows individuals to publish their personal documents in iPaper; the Scribd Platform will allow any website to use iPaper internally. The Scribd Platform gives websites several ways to use iPaper, from the powerful Scribd API for experienced developers, to options that require no programming knowledge at all. In fact, using the QuickSwitch tool, users can insert one line of code into their web page and convert every PDF on the site into an iPaper document in minutes.
iPaper and the Scribd Platform have already attracted attention from early partners eager to offer the viewing experience Scribd has pioneered, without reinventing the wheel. One of the early adopters, file storage company Box.net, built features allowing their own users to view documents on Box using iPaper, as well as publish documents on Scribd so they could share them with Scribd’s huge community.
“We are excited about Scribd’s new platform as their continued innovations complement our own goals and expectations of sharing documents online,” said Aaron Levie, CEO of Box.net. “We’ve taken advantage of the iPaper technology as a way to extend our own sharing and collaboration functionality, allowing users to preview traditionally large and cumbersome file-types directly in their browser using Scribd’s viewer. This provides Box.net users with a better browsing experience, as well as increases engagement in our own application.”
Scribd’s iPaper technology also offers users the opportunity to monetize their documents for the first time through contextually relevant advertisements, unlocking mountains of revenue potential and whole new business models. There are already hundreds of millions of documents on the Web that are not being monetized; iPaper provides a monetization solution as well as new incentives for publishers to share content on the Internet for the first time.
Using Google’s AdSense™ advertising program, Scribd has successfully integrated AdSense ads in Flash into the iPaper viewer. The Scribd solution goes above and beyond Adobe and Yahoo’s recent initiative to put ads in PDFs—Scribd doesn’t require users to download software upgrades to enable the service, while Adobe users must have the latest version of Acrobat Reader.
Scribd, which has a rapidly-growing community of readers and publishers, attracts more than 12 million monthly unique visitors. Scribd is used to publish all kinds of content, ranging from school work and eBooks to creative writing and slideshows. In less than a year since its launch, the Scribd web site has grown to hold the largest collection of user-generated text on the Internet, with more than 10 billion words contributed, compared to Wikipedia’s 4 billion.
For more information about Scribd, iPaper, or the Scribd Platform, please visit www.scribd.com.