500 Startups-backed Markerly has added a new feature to its microcontent service that will allow publishers to have readers leave comments on any image on the site. Website owners need only insert a small piece of code to make this happen.

What Markerly does is help publishers better leverage their content and understand what specifically is being shared compared to the rest. If you look at your social media channels, when someone tweets a post from a site, say like TNW, most of the time, it’s going to be the title of the post along with a website address. But there are times when you might come across an interesting quote from that particular post shared from a friend. That copy and paste methodology is what Markerly is interested in and believes there’s enough interest to support the service it provides.

According to the company, 82% of all sharing is done by copy and pasting. Markerly wants to allow readers to share specific pieces of text or photos from any site easily without needing to reshare the entire post. If TNW had Markerly’s service enabled right now, someone might want to share the 82% statistic that was just mentioned. By simply highlighting that line, a pop-up will appear enabling users to share that quote to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or email.

markerlyscreenshot 730x420 Markerly enhances its quick content sharing service, enabling users to comment on images

Markerly is now launching its next feature that allows users to not only share specific photos and images to their social networks, but also comment directly right in the post. By going to any Markerly-enabled page, readers can leave comments right on the image. These comments are not posted in the main comment area powered by WordPress, Disqus, Livefyre, or other services — in fact, it’s not integrated with any of these companies. Sarah Ware, the company’s CEO, says that the feature uses Facebook Comments so anyone with a Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail account can leave messages for any photo or image on the page or site.

Originally planned to be a bookmarklet for consumers, the company shifted its focus to publishers. In addition to allowing readers to share micro bits of information instead of the whole post, Markerly includes an analytics service that makes it act almost like a publisher has access to everyone’s Bitly account and can examine who’s sharing content and where they came from.

Since the company launched six weeks ago, nearly 3 million users have copied and pasted something from a Markerly-enabled site. There are more than 1,300 publishers using the service. The service is currently free to publishers and Ware says that through premium features, the company hopes to make some money.

Considering themselves as competitors to AddThis and ShareThis, we asked Markerly what premium features could be rolled out in the near future. Ware tells us that in the future, the company will be launching engagement heat maps that will give publishers an idea about what readers are specifically looking at, and an article recommendation engine. Full data exporting is said to be in its roadmap that will allow publishers to download their data in any format.

Photo credit: KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images