ThingLink reveals new Flickr import tool for easy rich media image tagging

As some of our power users may already have noticed, you can now import your Flickr photos onto your ThingLink dashboard to be easily tagged and shared. Instead of single tagging images with URLs, you can now import your entire Flickr photostream into ThingLink, streamlining the process of tagging your images. This opens up new opportunities for Flickr users who want to enhance their images with rich media tags such as YouTube videos, music from Soundcloud as well as Twitter and Facebook profiles. Importing your photos is an effortless process. Below is a quick 4-step guide to get you going:

 

 

Step 1: Log into Thinglink from our homepage

 

Step 2: In the dashboard, click on the “Import from Flickr” right below the chart.

 

Step 3: Enter you flickr user name

 

Step 4: Click on the images you wish to import to Thinglink and after that click the “Import selected images” button.

 

Step 5: The images have now been imported to your dashboard where you can tag and share them.

 

We hope this aids you in finding content to tag more easily. Naturally you can still enable your entire site with ThingLink, automatically making all of your site’s images taggable.

 

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ThingLink Launches Rich Media Tags, Bringing Social Context and Content to Every image

Interacting with Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Spotify, Vimeo, Wikipedia, SoundCloud, Twitter is now possible from within a single image.

Our free ThingLink tagging tool is nearly one year old. During the first half of this year we put some effort in making it stable and easy to use, and to be perfectly honest with you, we think we have succeeded quite well.

During the second half of the year we have invested in making our tags more interesting. Previously, and mostly still, they have been links that directs the viewer to another site. Now, with this launch, our tags can transform into people’s favorite services that can be consumed on the image without having to leave the page. This is a new powerful form of reader engagement and conversion that you will be able to monitor in real time.

So from today, web publishers, brands and bloggers can make their images more engaging with our Rich Media Tags for Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Spotify, Vimeo, Wikipedia, SoundCloud and Twitter; each of which can be used to tell the story behind anything. Here are some examples that have inspired us. Happy tagging!

 

 

 

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Track how your your tagged images spread

We have a nice little update for you that many have been asking for. One of ThingLink’s core features is the possibility to embed tagged images anywhere on the web. Embeddable features have always been a useful addition to other services such as YouTube, Flickr and Soundcloud, enabling the dynamic spread of great content across blogs or other websites. ThingLink now enables you to track all of the places where your images have been embedded, allowing you to see who is using your images and where.

The feature is located on ThingLink’s dashboard above each of your images, but naturally if the image hasn’t been embedded elsewhere there is only one location (in the example below you would only see the URL http://lovegolf.tumblr.com). We believe that the updated embed feature opens up new perspectives for ThingLink’s users that want to either launch campaigns and track them in real time or just see how their images are spreading around the world.

Now if you haven’t tried the embed feature yourself, you can try it out by hovering the top left corner and selecting embed image. This gives you a snippet of code which anyone can embed on any site to make your tagged image appear. The best thing is that if you have links or tagged media in your image, the links and media still point to the place you specified regardless of where the image is embedded.

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ThingLink expert comment: Tools for Your Band

We invited tech public relations guru and musician Neil Vineberg to reflect upon his work with ThingLink and the benefits the tagging tool has for bands and music agencies. Enjoy.

:::

As an indie artist with a #1 world music CD, “Sacred Love,” I know first-hand the challenges faced by artists seeking to successfully promote music and engage fans online.

Do it yourself musicians today need know social media, digital rights management, distribution, touring and other fields of expertise to really compete. What’s exciting is that many of the tools and platforms now available to musicians allow them to operate their brand just like a record label.

The challenge for artists remains knowing the nuances of these often complex tools, how they work and and how they might best integrate together. That’s why I was honored to represent ThingLink on the Tools for Your Band panel at the recent San Francisco MusicTech Summit with J. Sider from RootMusic, Jaunique Sealey from Atom Digital, Josh Builder from The Orchard, Christopher LaRosa from YouTube and moderator Jolie O’Dell from Mashable.

My colleagues and I spoke about platforms and successful promotion strategies. I also shared my perspective as an artist and how I used some of the tools in my tool box.  Most artists I talked to agreed that photos are probably their most valuable marketing and branding tool, next to their actual music. So imagine if you could make your photos 10 to 50 times more engaging with fans?

That’s where ThingLink came into the conversation. We turn images into a platform for smart, in-image tags to your music, video, social media touch points, fan site, band site and points of purchase.  Everywhere you want a fan to go to experience your music, can be added INSIDE an image. So the image is much more than just a really great asset for a band. It’s now an interactive engagement tool. And one of the most powerful ones in your took box.

When your creative assets are bundled inside your photos, you’ll see fans engaging, because we also give you a social dashboard to track image views, hovers and clicks. And you’re likely to see click-through-rates that will be music to your ears.

After you set up an account at ThingLink, RT me @nvineberg and maybe we can feature you in our music gallery.

 

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Photographer of the month: Markus Henttonen

As a great fan of professional photography, ThingLink has teamed up with Viewmasters, one of the best Scandinavian photo agencies, to introduce outstanding photographers each month. This means from now on our front page features photos by new artists who will tell the story behind their images.

It is our belief that the primary benefit of image tagging is to enrich the viewer’s browsing experience, not to fill it with advertisement. A nice example of this kind of rich browsing is the discovery of details and secrets behind professional photography.

This month on we’re featuring images by photographer Markus Henttonen, who we asked to select three of his favorite shots, and tag them with information about what is going on in the images and what was his inspiration.

Markus Henttonen
Markus’ interest in photography started with skateboarding, out of a need for better images of a passion he loved, and he learned the craft from the bottom up. His studies at the Turku Arts Academy was followed by stints at different agencies and he now works a freelancer photographer. He has travelled and resided in Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona as well as in Finland working as a photographer for both editorial and commercial assignments, while also focusing on personal projects. His series, Night Time Stories, got second prize at the International Biennale of Photography in Russia in 2009, and he has been nominated for the Fotofinlandia Prize 2011.

What inspires you?
“For me the world is a confined space, in which there exists different visual rhythms and compositions. I always start with the location and then try to find the models for it. It is the environment and how people find their place in it that is interesting to me.”

What are your views on in-image tagging?
“It is interesting, since you get more information about the photo and it can be used in versatile ways. Of course it could be distracting on some images but it does contribute to them.”

Markus tagged three of his favorite images:

Rooftop Party, 2008 from the Night Time Stories series

 

Platja d´es Codolar, 2004 from the To Be On View series

 

Wall # 1 from the New York series

 

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Today’s release: ThingLink Twitter tags!

Now you can really make your images work for you – and for your friends! The new ThingLink Twitter tag lets you tag people in images with their Twitter account. What a neat way to know more about the person in the photo and get social!

Think about all the portrait/promotional/conference/seminar/party/any other photos that people like to browse after an event. You can remember faces, yeah, that was an interesting person but what was her name? With our new Twitter tag, you can enable Twitter-follow right from your images.

How does it work?
1) Make sure you have signed up and added the ThingLink tagging tool on your site,

2) Copy-paste a Twitter profile url into the ThingLink tag editor, and you’re done! The person’s name, profile image, and a follow option appears on your image.

The feature is automatically activated for all users and you’ll see the result immediately. Naturally ThingLink also makes all existing Twitter tags interactive, so there is no need to update them.

Here we are:

Image credit: Kai Widell

What we think is cool is that you can also leave your images open for people to tag themselves. This is handy if you you don’t know who the people in the images are or if you for example want to identify people in historic photographs (we were surprised to notice that several historical persons are still tweeting). Anyhow, here is an other example: organizers (not all of them) of the recent Summit at Sea conference.

Image credit: Elliot Bisnow

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Collaborative editing for user-generated images: 7DayPic enables ThingLink image tagging

This week’s feature release enables collaborative editing of tagged images for entire websites. The idea for this feature came from Julio Castillo who runs an image sharing website 7DayPic. As the name indicates, the service lets you host and share images for 7 days. One day Julio emailed us and asked: “I have an image-hosting service, and would like to try enabling ThingLink tagging for my users. Is that possible?”

We thought this was a great idea, and a first step towards enabling image tagging for community sites. In this release the feature appears in its simplest form: upload an image, tag it with ThingLink’s in-image tags and share it with the world.

Examples of use cases:

1) party/event images
Share photos of your party and invite your friends to tag them. Who is in the picture? What is happening? Who is wearing what? Don’t worry, these image will not be around forever!

2) short-term campaigns
Creating a 7-day campaign site has never been this easy! Just upload your image to 7DayPic, tag it and share it. This can be used for a conference, product launch or a music event.

3) education
A biology home assignment for 5th grade students: identify plants using digital image archives.

Try it out for yourself by using one of the many apps that 7DayPic features. Be creative, crazy and wild. Remember that the images only last seven days.

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Engage your clients with in image webshops: how to set your own using ThingLink

A few days ago we released an in image shop integration together with web shop entrepreneur Savalanche and although it was a launch mainly centered on Finland, the response worldwide was overwhelming. We have since received requests from our users for instructions on how to set up in image shops yourself. Well here goes.

Naturally you need both a ThingLink and a Savalanche account, both of which you can create for free by either creating a new account or signing up via Facebook.

Savalanche gives you the option of either creating a shop with your own products or featuring the products of others. These instructions are for setting up a shop featuring the products of others in your images, but uploading your own products works much the same way. In the case that you promote other people’s products and a purchase is done through your image tags, you will get a share of the purchase price. By uploading your products, other people are able to promote them, thus broadening the visibility of your products.

Savalanche’s user interface and instructions for setting up the shop are quite intuitive. Search for products that you want to add to your shop or use the list on the left side to browse around. Once you find a product press “Add to store” and the product is added to your webstore’s product selection. Savalanche has published instructions on how to set up the shop with your own products and using others’ products but at the moment they are only in Finnish. The English instructions are however on their way.

 

Once you’re done creating your shop, you can start tagging your images. It’s easy, the only thing you need to do is drop the product’s unique URL in the image tag’s link field and ThingLink does the rest.

 

You find the product’s unique URL by clicking the hashtag ” # ” up to the right of each product in your webstore’s product selection. The URL should look something like this: http://www.savalanche.com/full_shop/products/1271?shop_id=326

 

This is by far the easiest way of setting up an in image store anywhere on the web. Neither ThingLink nor Savalanche has a register fee and by using your images the chance of buyers getting interested and clicking are much higher than if the links were text based. Remember that you also have the possibility of adding text tags containing entertaining facts, links to more information about the products and music and sounds via SoundCloud to your images. Get creative and create an online shopping experience with the help of your images.

Voila!

 

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An image is worth a thousand customers – ThingLink and Savalanche join forces to introduce a new image-based social shopping model

ThingLink, the Finnish-American innovator of image interaction tools, and Savalanche, a Finnish pioneer of social shopping, have joined forces to launch a new image-based social shopping model. The partnership enables anyone to easily set up a web store and become a retailer for their favorite things, and make their shop appear on images. The service is free for both publishers and sellers alike.

“Images have become a platform for many kinds of social activities, one of them being shopping”, says Ulla Engeström, founder and CEO of ThingLink. She continues: ” Collaboration with Savalanche serves our publishers, because it makes social media exposure convert into sales. ”

In the background of the cooperation between ThingLink and Savalanche lies a new emerging demand: consumers looking for inspiration and recommendations online want to immediately locate where the product can be bought while also being served with its price and other information. Speed is of the essence – the less clicks there are between for example an interior design product display and the product’s buy button, the bigger the chance that there will be a sale.

“Our cooperation brings the buy button straight into images – no links or searches are needed”, says Pasi Vuorio, founder of Savalanche. “Savalanche lowers the threshold of founding a web shop. Anyone can set up their own web shop supported by social media in order to for example sell design products through a lifestyle blog. It is a risk-free new distribution model for retailers”, Vuorio continues.

 

(ThingLink offers interactive illustration for your story. Try embedding the image by hovering the top left corner, selecting embed, copying the code and pasting it in your own html code. Voila!)

The revenue model of the service is attractive to both the brand and the web shop owner. A design blog such as Sisutusblogi.fi may become a retailer and start earning sales commission from all sales via their shop. While the consumer might be buying products from different brands on a blog store there is only one payment and one order, even though the merchandise is delivered from many different companies.

Examples of pioneering retailers include Finnish Design Shop,  Valleys and Tiia Arkko.

Teemu Kiiski, the CEO of Finnish Design Shop, welcomes the new service: “Inspiring images are key in selling design. A web store should exist where consumers actually talk about the products, that is on blogs, web publications, and within social media in general.” Teemu continues: “With the help of ThingLink’s tools and Savalanche’s social shopping, Finnish Design Shop will radically expand its distribution channels and reach new customers.”

“Interactive images create new kinds of long-awaited revenue model for web publishers”, says Harri Kangas, founder of sisustusblogi.fi, and continues; “ThingLink’s tools are easy to use, the image tags fit even the most elegant of images and it enables easy image sharing worldwide. ”

“ThingLink currently serves thirty million image views monthly. Our users mainly consist of music and lifestyle publishers ” Ulla Engeström says. “This cooperation adds value to private blogs, long tail producers, and online stores, and we expect new users from these fields”, she continues.

 

(ThingLink offers interactive illustration for your story. Try embedding the image by hovering the top left corner, selecting embed, copying the code and pasting it in your own html code. Voila!)



ThingLink develops image interaction tools that allow content sharing via online images. ThingLink technology changes the way people interact with photos by transforming them into a surface for navigation, commerce, and social connection. Brands, publishers and bloggers utilize ThingLink in their images to share links, drive traffic, and set up image-based advertising campaigns.

Savalanche is a new webstore solution that combines online commerce, social media and affiliate marketing in an effective way. With Savalanche, anyone can set up a webstore – even without any products of their own. Savalanche users can sell their favorite products imported and produced by external product suppliers. For importers, manufacturers and marketers, Savalanche offers a new kind of channel with the ability to reach a wide, targeted consumer base through the different social networks operating on the Internet. Savalanche is owned by Vuole Oy.

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Generate revenue with your images and ThingLink’s Amazon Associates integration

ThingLink just released an Amazon Associates integration. This means that you’ll be able to link your in-image tags to Amazon products and generate revenue on sales completed through your links. You might already be doing this with banners or text links but with the help of your images, your click through rates and the number of possible sales will go up.

ThingLink allows you to tag objects in your images and link them to products on Amazon while they are simultaneously registered with your Amazon Associates account. Whenever someone purchases a product via the in image tag link you will get a share of the revenue.

We made the process of getting started as easy as possible. To start off, you need to sign up for both ThingLink and the Amazon Associates program.

Once you have registered, you need to link the two accounts. You find your personal Amazon Associates tracking ID on the left side of the screen. Copy the tracking ID, go to ThingLink.com and log in. On your account page you will see a section that says “Your affiliate codes”. Paste your ID in the box and you’re set.

 

After this, whenever you create a tag with a a link to a product on Amazon, the tracking code is automatically added. All purchases made through your links will be credited to you.

However, if  your personal tracking code is already included in the link that you paste in, Thinglink does not replace it. This means that if you make an Amazon.com affiliate link using some other tool (like Amazon’s own), you can safely cut and paste it into the link box.

You can check your daily earnings and visits on your Amazon Associates page. The more things you refer, the higher your referral rate will be.

Once we have more statistics on how our users are using and buying this through this new feature, we will create more tips on how to tag your images to get the best results. We’ll give you two hints for now – make your tags fun and create images where you can browse around. You can also check out how food blogger Chez Pim is using her images and the new feature to generate revenue by affiliate linking to utensils she herself uses in the kitchen.

Start generating revenue by tagging your images now.

 

 

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