Snap Shots is a website which claims to be “the world’s most popular way to give your users a more fun and interactive experience on your site or blog”. What it actually is is a spectacularly annoying collection of boxes that pop up at random as you move the cursor about the screen. It neatly encapsulates all that is wrong with the internet.
For one thing, it’s enabled on a site-level by publishers. That’s great for Snap.com’s business model, but it’s a disaster for the end-user, because while some people may perversely consider the intrusions useful, and may want them to appear on this blog, I think that they get in the way, make selection difficult, and don’t add anything worth having, so I’m never going to install them — but I do have to put up with them on other people’s sites, because the ‘disable’ mechanism doesn’t work properly. (This is important: if for whatever reason you incorrectly like Snap Shots, please bear in mind that you are not offering your users a choice: you are inflicting your preference on them.) This sort of thing should be a browser extension, not a ‘feature’ of individual webpages. It’s either useful everywhere or nowhere and site-level activation makes no sense.
Also I don’t like their rhetoric:
Snap Shots Engage looks for certain key phrases within your site and connects them with the best content in the world. And you don’t even have to write a link.
Snap Shots Engage is an exciting development that could significantly change the way people write for the Internet by both recognizing the meaning of what they say and then enriching it with related content.
Mostly though, I just don’t accept the premise: I don’t think it’s useful for large frames to appear on a mouseover event. Links already have the status bar and title tags for this purpose, and the enormous ‘Snap Shot’ that appears is very annoying if I roll the mouse over a link accidentally or (gasp!) in order to click on it. Most link mouseover events are incidental, and anything beyond highlighting the link is a bad thing.
This sort of thing is quite enough to put me off visiting a website at all. If my experience of your website is that I get angry when I read it, I’ll just stop reading it.