NewsWhip, the Ireland-based startup that tracks popularity of news stories by measuring their social buzz in real-time, is now allowing anyone to display a list of the hottest stories on their own site for free by way of a new widget that has launched today.

We’ve covered NewsWhip since it first emerged in September last year. Earlier this year it launched Spike, a tool designed to help newsrooms keep abreast of what stories are really chiming with the public. While Spike is a paid-for tool designed for a pro audience, the new widget is on the face of it just nice way for the startup to raise awareness of its existence while serving up relevant content to websites’ visitors.

Newswhip widget 220x324 NewsWhip brings the most socially viral news headlines to any website with its new widget

NewsWhip has tested the widget on Irish news site Broadsheet.ie, but the real business potential here could be in custom widgets. The startup has trialled a specially designed widget with broadcaster RTE’s sports site, showing what RTE stories currently have the most social resonance. While the trial hasn’t finished yet, NewsWhip’s Paul Quigley says “It’s made their site significantly more sticky and now drives a large portion of the extra clicks people are making on the site having already read one story.”

To set up a widget, you select a topic, from politics and technology to lifestyle and sports niches. You can toggle whether to display  images and text previews for each story and whether you want to see each one’s sharing stats. Then simply copy a snippet of Javascript and one of HTML and you can add the widget into your site, displaying which stories in your chosen subject area are trending right now.  If you’ve selected a country-specific widget, weight will be given to shares occurring in that country.

You can grab a NewsWhip widget for your own website via the link below.

➤ NewsWhip widget

Image credit: Thinkstock