Add Thumbnail Previews to Your Links for Free

Search engine Snap sets itself apart by providing a large preview image of its search results.

It has now launched Snap Preview Anywhere — a free service that enables you to add this technology to your own site so that every link on your site generates a pop-up preview image.

To get up-and-running all you have to do is add a line of JavaScript anywhere in your HTML. You can see how it works by hovering your mouse over any link on this site.

Link Image Preview: Useful or Gimmick?

It’s certainly neat technology; however, I’m not sure whether it is more of a distraction than useful tool, especially for links where there is no preview available and they have to be generated on the fly.

In addition, it’s not particularly helpful to have preview images of links within your own site. They seem pretty pointless to me and fall into the ‘distraction’ category.

On the other hand, on pages where there are long lists of external links, having a thumbnail preview of each links seems like a pretty useful feature.

Much as I like my widgets, I don’t want to keep anything that isn’t useful to my site visitors. So, what do you think — is this a keeper?

[via TechCrunch]

8 thoughts to “Add Thumbnail Previews to Your Links for Free”

  1. Depends what kind of site. I could imagine using this in a link directory. Basically any list of links seems appropriate for this, even a collection of links used in a podcast (mentionned at the end of podcast entry).
    Personally I do prefer to be able to see the link when hovering, but many people like this kind of gimmicks.

  2. I personally think they can get a bit annoying, especially on internal links on your site, but would probably be useful for pages with lots of external links on them. It’s a shame you cant tell it which links to apply the effect to.

  3. franky & Ben – good points.
    I must admit that it was nice to be able to hover over your names and get a look at your own web sites.
    I think I might keep this tool for a while. Who knows, perhaps Snap will add some additional functionality so that internal links can be ignored.

  4. I may try this tool for my portfolio page, at least to try it out for a little while. I think it is neat to be able to see a preview of the link, just my thoughts though.

  5. It is getting annoying when you browse a bit more through a site with many links.
    If Snap will provide such features like ‘disable local links’ then it is a keeper.
    Other than that, I wouldn’t be that optimistic

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