Author Archives: Ulla

ThingLink Announces 1 Million Creators for Interactive Images

ThingLink has reached a milestone of one million content creators. One of the fastest growing verticals over the past 6 months has been education, with a monthly growth rate of 30%. Teachers and students use ThingLink creatively to transform online images and videos into “learning modules.”

In 2014, ThingLink users have created more than 1.5 million interactive units with an average engagement rate of 55% and CTR of 5%. This content can be searched, curated, shared and remixed in the ThingLink Community and embedded to other social media and learning platforms. In October, 2014 alone, ThingLink images from over 100 countries generated 85 million views, 43 million link views, and 3 million clicks.

In addition to editorial and educational use, ThingLink has become a popular tool in brand advertising. Since January, 2014, more than 25,000 businesses and brands have signed up to ThingLink, opting to create engaging rich media images for websites, campaigns, and social media updates. At the same time, digital agencies are using ThingLink to speed up creation time for interactive content and taking advantage of ThingLink’s Premium and Corporate account to create bespoke interactive campaigns for their clients.

The next step is building ThingLink towards an ecosystem where content creators, consumers, and businesses connect around curated visual experiences. The same way in which people curate Spotify playlists, they can now add a collection of links on images. We have seen how well-curated interactive images and video can be tremendously engaging, and they certainly offer an alternative to textbooks or text-based web browsing and learning,” says ThingLink’s founder and CEO Ulla Engeström.

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How to promote interactive video using Facebook Advertising

Interactive video is new media that has only briefly made it’s appearance in the marketplace. In the last couple of months, top notch brands such as yoox.com have included ThingLink’s new video editor as part of their social media toolkit, and promoted cool new video content to their fans on Facebook.

This is how you can promote interactive ThingLink videos as a Facebook campaign:

*Note* ThingLink Video is only available for Premium and Corporate users.  

1. Select  “Send people to your website” (not “upload video”)
Interactive videos cannot be promoted using Facebook Premium Video Ads. This is because creating a video ad requires uploading a .mov video file, and interactive links cannot live in a .mov file.

Selecting “Send people to your website” is the right choice. Now, copy-paste a link to a ThingLink video URL (video.thinglink.com/v/1234) or a branded website that hosts the video and plays the video for your viewers.

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2. Upload an image
Next, upload your image for this ad. (Update: no fake play buttons allowed.)

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3. Complete the rest of the form and submit

After completing the rest of the form and submitting the ad, interactive video in the Facebook Newsfeed should look like this screenshot:

new_fb_yoox

When viewers click the image, they land to view the video on thinglink.com or a branded website like Yoox’s.

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Got a cool idea for a video campaign? Contact Alexey at sales@thinglink.com.

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ThingLink Launches Interactive Video in Partnership with Worlds’ Leading Online Lifestyle Store YOOX

New York, October 7, 2014– ThingLink, the leading platform for creating integrative images and video for web, social, and advertising channels, and yoox.com, the world’s leading online lifestyle store for fashion, design and art established in 2000, have announced today an exclusive launch partnership to debut an elegant and easy way to annotate videos with notes and rich media links.

Leveraging ThingLink for Videotechnology, the online lifestyle store yoox.com has created an interactive, multidimensional (and of course shoppable) video experience to reveal the many facets of the new yoox.com website. Viewers are invited to “go deeper” into interactive visual, auditory, social media, and commerce-enabled experiences linked to various elements of the video, including:

  • Social media-enriched introductions to style icon Amber Valletta, curator of YOOXYGEN, YOOX Group’s permanent eco-friendly initiative, and Vogue contributing editor Lynn Yaeger, curator of yoox.com’s vintage area
  • Educational and shoppable slideshows of artworks from international galleries and institutions
  • A vine vignette including the exclusive multiple works created for yoox.com by Takashi Murakami, the first artist chosen by the new curator of the art section on yoox.com, Francesco Bonami
  • An interactive image introduction to yoox.com ambassador Madina Visconti di Modrone

“The ability to easily annotate video content introduces a new chapter in online publishing. Our partnership with yoox.com is a wonderful opportunity to innovate new ways for curating engaging web experiences for fashion and lifestyle marketing”, says ThingLink’s founder and CEO Ulla Engeström.

“We are excited to be collaborating with ThingLink to push the boundaries of interactive video technology and exploit new opportunities together. Through the launch of this exclusive partnership, we have sought to create a multi-dimensional experience for our audience that deepens the video’s narrative without interrupting the flow, for an eclectic and playful journey where our customers can experience a new way of shopping”, says Maia Guarnaccia, Global Brand Marketing and Communications Director at YOOX Group

ThingLink for Video offers brands and marketers game-changing enhancements to their digital PR efforts. These interactive video experiences are freely embeddable and sharable, allowing brands to syndicate digital content in a new, inclusive and participatory manor, driving viral views and interactions while deepening relationships with press, blogger, and influencer communities. Brands can now put an embeddable mobile catalog into the hands of thousands of tastemakers and enthusiastic fans. Most importantly, brands will be able to quantify the impact of their content in meaningful and actionable ways, gaining customer behavioral insights beyond clicks and views.

The ThingLink for Video platform is simple enough for a marketer to use without coding experience, yet flexible enough to enable a high degree of customization by a development team. It supports native video uploads as well as YouTube or Brightcove embeds.

yoox.com

yoox.com, established in 2000, is the world’s leading online lifestyle store for fashion, design and art. yoox.com offers a never-ending selection of products, including: an edited range of hard-to-find clothing and accessories from the world’s most prestigious designers, exclusive capsule collections, eco-friendly fashion, a unique assortment of home design objects, rare vintage finds and books and a curated selection of compelling and collectable artworks chosen by international curators and critics from the world’s leading international galleries and institutions. With an unparalleled collection of merchandise, a focus on quality control, and a strong customer focus in over 100 countries, yoox.com offers an outstanding shopping experience.

ThingLink

Founded in 2010, ThingLink (thinglink.com) is the leading platform for marketers and content creators for building interactive images for web, social, and advertising channels. Its features include an editor that allows users to annotate images and video with any content from the web. Brands can distribute interactive images and video to bloggers and other publishers, and track consumer engagement as the content spreads across the web.

ThingLink for Video (video.thinglink.com) is a disruptive new way for fast and simple video annotation. ThingLink interactive videos contain clickable hotspots such as text, images, video, music, and maps. Hotspots appear for the viewer during play giving an option to explore the embedded content while pausing the video in the background. Corporate clients can customize font types and colors to match their brand’s look & feel. More information: Ulla Engeström, CEO, ulla@thinglink.com

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Creating Interactive Kids Books with ThingLink and Minecraft

Mom, can you show me ThingLink, my 5-year-old daughter asked today. My class is going to use it next week so I need to know how it works.

Sure. It’s like adding speech bubbles to images. What would you like to do?

– I’d like to add speech bubbles to pictures of my farm on Minecraft.

[Wow! Fascinating. A whole new use case..]

So she opened the ThingLink app, clicked the camera button at the bottom to select screenshots from the camera roll, and started adding little text snippets over the animal characters. “I’m hungry”, says the little cow. “We have grass to eat”, replies the sheep. After her second image she exclaimed: “This is fun, Mom, I can make a book!” And so she did.

Feature request: The ability to change the icons to “something more fun”. That’s a fair request. Adding that to our road map.

Have a great example of using ThingLink? ThingLink Interactive Image Slams are informal webinars designed to provide educators with opportunities to share creative ways to transform teaching and learning with ThingLink. To learn more and register, contact susan@thinglink.com.

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ThingLink buys video tagging platform Smartag

We are excited to announce the acquisition of Smartag, the St. Petersburg-based interactive video company founded in 2011. As part of the acquisition, Smartag’s engineering team including founders Alexey Solomatin (CEO) and Andrey Lyuberg (CTO) will join ThingLink.


 

Working with Smartag’s highly-skilled team, we will continue in our mission to provide cutting edge publishing solutions–both image and video based–to our diverse array of content creators.

We would like to warmly welcome the Smartag team and look forward to sharing more exciting news in the coming weeks!

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News from ISTE: ThingLink gives educators a free early access to its new video editor

Exciting news: in the past months we have been hard at work building a new editor for annotating video content with rich media.  The new editor allows users to add notes and links to existing video content, and this way turn video into a digital discovery platform.

An early access to ThingLink for Video is announced at ISTE, one of the largest international conferences for educational technology. We at ThingLink believe that interactive images and video will become the 21st century textbook, and teachers are driving this change by being fast adopters of, not only new technology, but also a new way of thinking. As the use of video in education grows, ThingLink is empowering teachers and students to easily create interactive video content and facilitate in-video conversations.

The ability to creatively combine web content with interactive images and video opens up new possibilities for teaching and learning. With ThingLink for Video, teachers and students can enrich educational videos with facts, detailed articles, additional content and questions. They can also search and share videos created by their colleagues, and this way access a wider network of interactive video content creators.

ThingLink for Video is currently available via invitation only. Educators can request a free early access starting from today.

If you are visiting ISTE this year, please come to meet us at ThingLink’s booth no 2869 and share the news with your colleagues!

Here are two examples of videos annotated with ThingLink. Kingdom Of The Forest – Fungi (National Geographic) Mushroom The Long Way Home (Health Equity Institute Documentaries) LongWayHome

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ThingLink Launches Teacher Accounts with Safe Search and Student Signup

Today we have released a significant update to one of our most active communities: education. This update includes the following features

* Google Plus login

* Student signup: Teachers can now register new students on their behalf.  The students do not need to have a working email address, yet they all will receive an individual user account.”

* Automatic group creation on Teacher sign-up: Teachers will automatically get one group to which they can add students by listing their names

* Automatic student/teacher signup based on email domain. School districts can now apply for Thinglink Educational status, which means that students can automatically sign up with their own accounts, and receive teacher/student privileges

* Safe browsing environment: If the logged-in user is assigned student status, they can only see images created by other people with student status, teacher status, or images specifically curated by Thinglink Staff.  This affects search, streams, hashtags, and channels.

* Google Video safe search. If the user is assigned student status, we automatically apply the maximum limits to Google Video search.

The next three weeks are going to be all about ThingLink for educational use. We are extremely happy to have Susan Oxnevad as ThingLink’s guest blogger for February and March. In addition to insightful articles, Susan will also create video tutorials and demonstrate how teachers can make the best use of the new features. Here is her first article on Creating Interactive Albums with ThingLink’s new Channel feature.

We look forward to keeping you posted on the new features, and ThingLink’s next steps in education. Would you like to review some our new features on your blog, organise a webinar or training? Please drop us an email to education@thinglink.com!

For signing up as a Teacher on ThingLink, please use this link!

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ThingLink launches Interactive Image Channels

Today ThingLink is launching a new feature called “Channel”, an easy way to organize images into embeddable interactive albums. ThingLink Channel is an exciting feature that will allow for a multitude  of new storytelling applications via rich media tags.  Below are some examples for personal, business, and educational usages:

I. Channels for Personal Use

Interactive lifestyle magazines  and and guides for travel, recipes, design, arts & crafts: Think about channel as a new way to start your own mobile magazine. If fashion or food are your passion and images are your preferred mode of expression, you can now start your own interactive magazine on ThingLink. ThingLink Channel works as a YouTube Channel: you can update it anytime and when you add new content it will be shown to your followers.

Interactive family albums: We all have our cameras full of images and videos of our pets and kids. With ThingLink you can combine the best of your gallery, adding notes, quotes, and music to images, ultimately creating albums that allow you to travel back in time and remember how your darlings looked and sounded just a couple of years ago!

Interactive slide sets and storybooksOnce you start using interactive image channels for your professional presentations, you can forget about powerpoint and keynote and problems with large file sizes. Not only will your slides be more visual, they can now play music, show video or embed any content from the web. Sharing? Just share your channel URL and people can replay your content at any time.

II. Channels for Businesses

If you run a small or large business, ThingLink Channel will be your new favorite tool for creating engaging material on social media. From now on, you can serve fans and followers interactive product catalogs and PR images.

For publishers, interactive image channels work both in display or native advertising. Contact us at sales @thinglink.com to learn more!

III. Channels for Teachers Teachers can use ThingLink Channels to organize student homework and projects. For example, a history teacher could create a channel for each course they are teaching this semester and have students add their homework to this channel.  At the end of the semester, a channel will become a collection of student work that can be shared with other classes and studied for examinations.

Start using ThingLink image channels with 3 simple steps:

1. Above every image, you will see an “add to channel” link

  2. Select a channel or create a new one by clicking “new channel”     3. Now click “done”. To view your images as a slideshow, click the slideshow button on the left.  Some channel functionality will still improve, such as adding an option to arrange images within the channel, as well as the possibility to add other people’s images into a channel and be notified when that happens. All of this is in the works! If there is anything else you would like to see, as always, please let us know!

 

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Six Ways to Use ThingLink Hashtags in education

ThingLink has just launched a new feature: hashtags. Hashtags are handy searchable smart phrases that will make it easier to search and follow interesting content on ThingLink. In this post Susan Oxnevad writes about how hashtags can be used to accomplish some important classroom tasks, and how they can provide teachers and students with a way to easily organize ThingLink content within a safe learning environment.

Use ThingLink Hashtags to Easily Organize Content

1. Create Classroom Hashtags
Create a classroom hashtag and use it to help students quickly search for interactive images created by their own group. Keep it simple and slightly unique, try something like #Oxnevad101.

2. Create School Hashtags
If you are lucky enough to have a few colleagues in your school to explorie ThingLink EDU with, consider creating a school hashtag, like #BeyeSchool, to connect and collaborate. Teach students to use multiple hashtags to organize their searchable content.

3. Create Content Specific Hashtags
Create content specific hashtags to collaborate with members of the ThingLink EDU community. If you want to extend your reach, use the hashtags in your classroom Tweets too.

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4. Use ThingLink Hashtags to Address Internet Safety

Use avatars and pen names to remind students about Internet safety every time they create an interactive image. Students can create and use their own custom avatar icon to identify and organize their images, They can pop hashtags into the image description. They can create and use their own avatar pen name hashtags to protect their identities when online while providing them with opportunities to express themselves through their own personal ThingLink identity.

5. Use ThingLink Hashtags to Teach Students to Search
With the Internet in our pockets, searching has become an extremely important and useful skill to teach our students. Using hashtags can help students understand how the Internet is organized while allowing them to participate in the organizational process. Students can use multiple hashtags on every interactive image they create, but start simple and grow your hashtag network through experience.

6. Use ThingLink Hashtags to Collaborate & Connect
Teachers can invent and use ThingLink hashtags to collaborate with others and expand your personal learning network. Use hashtags to search and find content to target current initiatives and best practices. Here are a few ideas:
– Bloom’s Higher Order Thinking Skills
– Levels of Difficulty
– Multimedia Type
– Common Core State Standards

Try ThingLink Hashtags today!

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ThingLink Adds Interactive Image Sharing to Facebook Timeline

ThingLink, the most popular interactive image platform for publishers, brands, agencies and consumers, today added interactive image sharing to Facebook Timeline. Now when publishers share ThingLink interactive images to Facebook, viewers can “touch” them to experience the content inside the image — without leaving Timeline.

ThingLink’s proprietary, patent-pending web-based solution allows publishers to create, tag and share any image, in any environment, quickly and easily. ThingLink allows content producers to better understand how their images are being used by consumers on the different social media platforms, both in terms of interactions with the image as well as a wide range of social behaviors.

Publishers and individuals can now use ThingLink to transform static images on Facebook Timeline into a discovery experience — with music and video players, social links and brand content that appear inside an image when it is “touched.” Rich media tags from services like Youtube, Vimeo, Instagram, Imgur, Flickr, and Twitter are supported from the beginning, and support for custom third-party tags will be added in the coming weeks.

“Images are becoming forums for conversation and discovery that include sharing, touching, commenting, and remixing rich media content created by others,” said CEO Ulla Engeström. “ThingLink is now enabling a new kind of discovery experience on Facebook Timeline that evokes emotion and brings moments to life in ways that drive higher engagement.”

Founded in 2010, ThingLink is the leading interactive image platform with over 130,000 publishers. ThingLink’s enterprise level account for publishers, agencies and brands offers such key features as group account management and the ability to create and launch custom image apps and icons that enhance engagement. ThingLink also offers advanced metrics for measuring image performance across social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, enabling valuable, new insights into consumer engagement.

For more information visit ThingLink.com and ThingLinkPress.com.
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How to share your images to Facebook Timeline?
CopyPaste a ThingLink url to your timeline. See examples from MSF, Huffington Post France, and Giorgio Armani.

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