Like other companies of its kind that have shifted strategies (Bitl.y for example), AddThis, which began initially with a distinct focus on sharing widgets and site plug-ins, has since expanded its pitch to include publisher "engagement" and analytics.
The shift was spearheaded by CEO Rich Harris, a relative newcomer to AddThis, who joined the company in September 2013.
"I felt like there was a lot of opportunity to get more out of the assets AddThis had and really configure them in a different way. One of those core assets is really this publisher platform, which has 13 million publishers using it," Harris said. "Another asset is the fact that we have a huge number of users coming to these publishers and we're able to see what they're doing and what they're engaging with on the Web on a daily basis."
The firm tracks 1.7 billion users on a monthly basis and has become a go-to repository for data about what's happening on the Internet, according to Harris.
"I felt that we could enhance and take advantage of that legacy of sharing to move into a full-fledged content engagement platform," he added.
AdExchanger caught up with Harris to discuss the reasons for the change, what it means for marketers and how AddThis will change its business model, accordingly.