We’re not exactly sure how long it’s been around (it appears to have launched late this Fall), but we recently came across a simple widget service with no press coverage to date called Hyplet that helps you create digital business cards and flyers. You can spread them around the web by embedding in blogs, social networks, websites, and emails.
Hyplet’s end product is nothing fancy, just a simple HTML snippet that references an image hosted on the company’s servers. Most of the service’s value comes from its user-friendly image creation tool that lets you arrange text and images, pick styles, and add links from within the browser. It’s obviously targeted at people with little or no knowledge of Photoshop or similar graphics programs. While Hyplet has templates for both business cards and flyers, you can modify them and add your own images to create widgets for any purpose.
I can see individual MySpace users taking advantage of Hyplet to put flyers on each other’s profiles, but I can’t see the service being used for serious viral campaigns. The themes are too limited and the publishing options require you to manually add your widgets in one place at a time (there’s no help from widget distribution services like Gigya or ClearSpring here). There’s also the issue of monetization; Hyplet doesn’t appear to have any source of revenue yet so I’d be concerned that my hosted images wouldn’t be around in the future.
It’s also really easy to take out the part of the HTML that promotes Hyplet itself, which I did to the business card above so it could be floated to the left (and no, that’s not my real contact information).