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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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This week we released our ThingLink Twitter Card, which allows anyone to browse the live tags in ThingLink interactive images inside a Tweet at  Twitter.com.

You can now create an image on ThingLink with in-image links to video and sound players, share it on Twitter, touch the image and interact with the links without having to leave Twitter.  This innovation opens up for new opportunities for personal expression as well as marketing opportunities for businesses and brands.

ThingLink and Twitter – How to set it up

Now if you haven’t already signed up for ThingLink, do it now. We’ll wait, it only takes 30 seconds.

Then upload or import an image and tag it with any of our supported rich media tags, which you can see in the presentation below:

 

Share the interactive image on Twitter by clicking “Share” or “Tweet” on top of the image or right clicking the image and selecting “Share image”.

 

Any user seeing the tweet can now browse the live tags on Twitter without having to leave the image. Click “View Media” and the interactive image opens up.  The image is also viewable by clicking the date/time stamp on the Tweet and the status update version of the Tweet will appear with the image and interactivity.

 

The image must be shared from ThingLink.com to be viewable inside Twitter.  We also suggest that you set up your own channel on ThingLink to allow for people to easily find other interactive images that you’ve created.

NOTE:  Twitter is still testing Twitter Cards with certain users/sessions. The ThingLink-Twitter integration works on ThingLink.com, Twitter’s mobile client and Tweetdeck’s web version. Hopefully it will work on third party clients in the future.

 

Tips & Tricks

Twitter will scale down any image that you share from ThingLink.com to 280 or 560 pixels on mobile and 435 pixels on desktop. That means that any messages in the image should be written in larger text and be more prominent for users to quickly see them. It also means that it’s better to use vertical images since the height of the image is not restricted.

 

BONUS!

We’ve implemented another fun feature for the Twitter Card. If there are Twitter tags in the image, we will detect them and automatically mention the users when you share the image on Twitter. That way the users in the image will be notified of it whenever the image is shared by you or anyone else. Check out this Twitter example below:

 

Visit ThingLink now to create your own account! 

Read more about ThingLink and Twitter @ Mashable and TheNextWeb.

Read What ThingLink’s Interactive Tweets Mean for BrandsSimplyZesty.

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This post by ThingLink CMO Neil Vineberg was recently published by MarketingProfs.com.

Remember image maps? Invented in 1993 at Honolulu Community College by student Kevin Hughes, image maps allow you to include multiple “clickable” areas within one image that link to specified URLs.

With more than 100 billion images online, several companies have expanded on the image-map concept with interactive image technology that lets users aggregate and tag content within images, offering marketers news ways for engaging brand communities.

Continue to the story.

 

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