free html hit counter Snap Preview Anywhere - John Battelle's Search Blog

Snap Preview Anywhere

By - November 14, 2006

Picture 2-27Snap Anywhere, announced today, is a smooth scroll-over widget that allows readers to visually preview external sites from in situ links. SPA is available free to site owners, by pasting a short snippet of code in their page. Snap hopes the tool will save readers some “wasted outbound trips,” as well as grow their own database of web images.

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15 thoughts on “Snap Preview Anywhere

  1. warren says:

    That’s cool. Its like the binocs on Ask!

  2. SorenG says:

    Freaking great idea. However, I don’t see a link from their site to see the tool in action. Why not let users see it on a site before they decide to use it. Am I missing it?

  3. Anthony Baker says:

    Very, very cool indeed. And I agree with SorenG’s comments. Would be great to show a preview of this on the Snap site itself. Also, perhaps, list some popular sites now using the tech.

  4. This is a good tool – the only suggestion would be to make it MORE DESIGN- CUSTOMIZABLE, so users could blend it in with the design of their WEBsites.

    It does obey some of the STYLE CSS code that is already on a Website, such as: hover or link background color – but it would be even nicer if one could customize the table background color of the box that encloses the preview.

    One good aspect is that even if a site has not been screenshoted in SNAP’s database – once someone hovers over its link, it will ony take about a minute for it to be included.

  5. Kevin Heisler says:

    Brilliant! Finally, a tool that reduces publishers’ AdSense income by helping visitors choose not to click on ads.

  6. Jason Fields says:


    In AdSense cases as the links are created by javascript we are not able to render our ‘preview’ unfortunately.

    Jason Fields
    Product Evangelist, Emerging Technologies

  7. madhu says: had/has a similar “page preview” concept that’s been around a year. Possible IP infringement issues?

  8. John says:

    The site you can see this in action is, which is the image they use to display. It works very well with our site, we use AJAX heavily too. Great great product. Go SNAP.

    John / Co-founder

  9. Atsuo says:

    For website owners, this Snap code is cool idea. However, I just tested it out on my site. I have to say the preview unfortunately was extremely slow, about 4 times slower than simply clicking in and out. I wondering if Snap is creating the image for their server, so that when other users visit my site later on, the image will pop up much faster. Or, is this preview stored locally?

    On the user side, free plug-ins like Cooliris Previews ( or Browster seems to work just fine. My favorite is Cooliris Previews for Firefox b/c it’s fast and has lots features and preference settings.

  10. Jason Fields says:


    You assumption is correct, if we do not have the image preview already, it takes a bit longer (a one time delay) to capture and then is cached for visitors the next time they view it. As we get more people adopting this product we will address the speed and (most likely) add machines to increase the speed at which images are captured/displayed.

    In regards to Cooliris and Browster, they are a download and installation on your browser… We may be offering a download/plugin version of this product in the future (with its own host of user settings and preferences), but for now we feel that the product is best suited for site owners/bloggers/publishers as a tool to assist visitors in making choices as to what sites to visit that may be linked to…

    Thanks again for your feedback!

    Jason Fields
    Product Evangelist, Emerging Technologies

    I appreciate your feedback.

  11. Ajay D'Souza says:

    You can use my plugin to embed SPA on WordPress blogs.

  12. Sergey Rusak says:

    I am little worry, there is rumors in webmaster forums about how SNAP steal your links. Is it true that if your visitor click on the SNAP window (picture) website owner loses click credit. Also, will it affect affiliate programs on the website?

  13. Sam says:

    I don’t think Snap steals your affilite links. I am an affiliate and have installed snap preview on my site. I did a test to see if Snap alters or hijacks my links. I routed my affiliate links through a tracking script. And clicks from the snap window did go through my tracking script, which is a relief.

    So the verdict is, Snap Preview doesn’t alter affiliate links, at least not yet. But they can, if they want to.

  14. Augustine says:

    Snap Preview Anywhere seems to be quite good. I don’t have a website of my own but have seen it in operational on several sites. I found another review at

  15. Anthony says:

    I’ll state upfront as a web surfer I’m not a fan of Snap Preview Anywhere. But are there actually any stats that confirm that SPA does “save readers some wasted outbound trips”? Surely with click tracking software and such it shouldn’t be too hard a study to do to see if there is a beneficial or detrimental effect.