A picture is worth a thousand words. Never has this phrase been more relevant than with new start up Visual.ly. Focused on mass-producing infographics, Visual.ly will allow users to create their own visualizations using automated processes. The hope is that the newly launched website will become the go-to destination for designers and infographic producers alike.
The site currently features more than 2,000 infographics, some of which were provided by partners CNNMoney.com, Ebay, GOOD Magazine, and National Geographic. In exchange for their infographics, Visual.ly shares links via embed codes generated by the site.
Over the past year, infographics have gained more traction as a viable way of disseminating data. I mean, who doesn't love when normally boring data is dressed up in eye-catching colors and molded into interesting shapes? Suddenly something as mundane as "Who Pays for Museum Tickets?" becomes an interesting visual representation of which U.S. museums are raking in the most dough.
According to TechCrunch, Visual.ly founders Stewart Langille and Lee Sherman have raised almost $500K in seed money to build upon. The plan is to monetize the site by offering publications access to its cache of infographics via a monthly subscription. For now, curious visitors can check out Visual.ly's growing catalog, upload their own creations, or try out the Twitterize Yourself widget.
The widget allows users to get a visual representation of their Twitter influence. Users can either get a solo treatment or go head to head against another Twitter user. After choosing the face-off option (Note: leaving one of the Twitter handle boxes blank will pit you against a random celebrity), we entered our Twitter handles. From there, we received a prompt to choose our gender and hair style along with hair, eye, and skin color and which accessory we wanted. Then we pressed the Generate Infographic button and waited approximately 2 minutes for the result.
In its current form, Visual.ly is a fun diversion and a powerful conversation starter on the increasing influence of infographics. We're looking forward to track the company's progress. If the Twitterize Yourself widget is any indication of what users can look forward to using on Visual.ly, we're excited about getting down to the business of being visual.