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ThingLink Shares First Interactive Image Benchmarks in Pivot Conference Report

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 11.30.52 AMThe Interactive Image Revolution – How Top Brands are Powering Engagement,” a report presented today at the Pivot Conference, features the first independent analysis of ThingLink interactive image performance and its use by major publishers and brands.

To obtain a specific sense of ThingLink’s impact on ad fundamentals, The Pivot Conference and ThingLink worked together during the summer of 2013 to study ThingLink programs of companies across four core categories: Editorial Web, Editorial Social, Brand Web and Brand Social. In each case, actual, live ThingLink implementations were examined. In each category, 15 ThingLink enabled images were studied.

The results of the study show a dramatic impact for ThingLink images as response generators. At a time when banner ad click rates subsist between .01% and .04%, depending on source, ThingLink delivered an average click rate of between 5.7% and 16%. Not only was the overall response rate breathtakingly high, the study indicated some clear reasons why.

According to Mike Edelhart, CEO of Pivot, who authored the report, “One of the reasons ThingLink’s information-embedding approach has power is because it transforms an image from a single object, clickable or not, into a cornucopia of information choices. This produces an engagement intensification that neither standard images nor content approaches can deliver.”

ThingLink content elements generated “hover” engagement at up to nearly 4X the level of views. This means a ThingLink image can generate four interactions from a single view. At the lowest level, ThingLink produced a 50% secondary engagement per view. Any one of these intensified interactions can be the trigger for a click.

“In short, the information-enabled image appears to be a more powerful tool for generating clicks than any other we have seen before,” said Edelhart.

The ThingLink study shows clearly that the more information options in an image – shown on the table as number of Tags – the higher the engagement intensification. That doesn’t necessarily lead directly to higher click rates, but it certainly increases the potential for maximization.

Another view of ThingLink’s power can be seen by diving into the performance of Groupon’s program in the summer of 2013. Across six different products, ThingLink produced a remarkable click rate of 16% and an intensification of 96%, which means that nearly all of those who viewed the images saw the additional content that ThingLink delivered. In essence, that is a fundamental doubling of engagement; each user sees both the image itself and at least one additional piece of content on each view. We feel it is this essential intensification that drives ThingLink’s high response rates.

In addition to studying how others use ThingLink, Pivot itself used the platform to enhance promotion and information delivery for the Conference.

“We addressed the challenge of bringing a star-studded preview video about Pivot to our home page without pushing other key content below the fold by embedded the video thumbnail into our home page header with ThingLink,” noted Edelhart.  “There was a 41% increase in new traffic to Pivot’s external marketing programs after creating a Thinglink button to promote the program within Pivot’s web header.”

Pivot Conference also used ThingLink to transform the images of Pivot’s speakers into information launch pads.  “With ThingLink we were able to bring web pages, social connections, bios, videos and other speaker background right into the pictures,” added Edelhart.  There was an increase in the average time on the speaker section of Pivot’s website from 3:07 to 4:04. Conference organizers also received a gush of pleasure from Pivot’s generally hard to please speakers to this implementation, as many asked to include additional content within their pictures on the site.

For more information visit ThingLink.com. For a copy of the report visit the Pivot Conference.

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ThingLink Expands Publisher Ad Network with Discovery Communications and Flite

Print
ThingLink and Discovery Communications, the world’s #1 nonfiction media, have announced a partnership for deploying ThingLink-powered interactive images and display ads across the digital destinations for Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and other networks in their portfolio.

To enhance the partnership, Discovery, ThingLink, and Flite announced an integration of ThingLink inside Flite’s Ad Studio. Flite publishers like Discovery, as well as advertisers, agencies and brands with ThingLink premium accounts, can now deploy ThingLink-powered rich media display ads for desktop and mobile through Flite’s ad server platform.

images

Discovery is driving digital advertising innovation by utilizing Thinglink’s interactive tagging capabilities to enhance their content and to deliver value for partners. By using custom-designed images, Discovery can tell more compelling creative stories that offer clients and brands the chance to integrate more seamlessly around sponsorship initiatives or custom-produced programs.

Key to their strategy is organically driving views and engagement beyond traditional advertising techniques through SEO and increased fan engagement that extends to social connections.  Discovery will strategically target these new rich media ads to compliment their image-based editorial content thereby creating a cohesive user experience that feels very integrated and blurs the line between content and traditional ad spaces.

ThingLink’s Premium platform enables publishers to serve 3rd party content over images. Publishers can use custom graphical icons on ThingLink images and build proprietary in-image applications for shopping, content marketing, and social connection. ThingLink’s real-time metrics allow for invaluable data collection with click-through-rates that continually outperform standards. ThingLink images are also viewable across social channels and web pages and shareable to social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.  Four of the top ten newspaper publishers and ten of the top fifty global brands use ThingLink for creating and sharing interactive images.  ThingLink publisher partners also include CBS Interactive and New York Magazine.

Flite empowers their publisher and brand clients to easily publish brand assets and messaging directly into their paid media. Flite has an expanding library of third party ad components, which allow clients to easily bring in content from providers such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and more. With the added integration of ThingLink, Flite continues to offer interactive functionality within display advertising for both clients and partners.

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ThingLink’s Twitter Card: Update

urlWhen Twitter launched Twitter Cards last year, ThingLink was the first interactive image solution approved by Twitter. Thanks to you, we’ve expanded the possibilities for engagement on Twitter beyond even their expectations.

While Twitter continues to evolve and refine the Twitter Card program, the Player Card that enables ThingLink is being scaled back to focus on video and audio solutions only. As a result, ThingLink will transition to an interim Twitter Card.

Here’s how it works:  When you post a ThingLink image to Twitter, viewers on desktop and mobile devices will see the image with icons indicating interactivity just like before. Those icons will no longer be interactive inside Twitter.  A click on the image, title or the URL provided with the tweet will lead the viewer to the interactive image on the user’s channel at ThingLink.com.

Because a majority of viewers on Twitter click back to ThingLink anyway, we think this solution will advantage both viewers and brands sharing ThingLink images on Twitter.

The current Twitter Player Card will remain active until September 30 after which all ThingLink users will transition to the interim Twitter Card.

For more visual information, check our slideshare presentation about this transition.

In the coming months we will be working with Twitter to enable a new Twitter Card type that enables interactive functionality on Twitter and delivers a consistent performance on both web and mobile devices.

Twitter is also requesting feedback from ThingLink about the kinds of Card experiences our publishers want to see inside the Twitter channel. Please send us your feedback on how you would like ThingLink images to perform inside Twitter.

In the meanwhile, if you have any questions about ThingLink and Twitter,  please contact our COO Cyril Barrow.

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ThingLink Raises $2m For Offering Interactive Image Solutions to Publishers and Brands

ThingLink has closed a $2 million financing round for offering interactive image solutions to publishers and brands, it was announced today. This is ThingLink’s second funding announcement since launching in August 2010, to bring total funding to $3.9 million.

The round was led by Helsinki-based VC firm Inventure Oy. Participants include social media and ad tech angels from New York and San Francisco including Terrapin Bale, led by former Tumblr president John Maloney, the CEO of Fremantle Media N.A. Thom Beers, the managing partner of Trimaran Capital Dean Kehler, SoundCloud CTO Eric Wahlforss, and TEKES, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.

“ThingLink has proven itself as a highly engaging media solution that enables new and creative ways for brands and consumers to connect through images. The team and I are excited to have onboard investors and advisors with strong experience in media, publishing, advertising and entertainment,” said ThingLink founder and CEO Ulla Engeström, who will relocate from Helsinki, Finland to New York City to lead the company’s growth.

As part of this funding round, ThingLink also announced new appointments to its board of directors, including Entertainment Media Ventures CEO Sandy Climan and former Facebook media sales director Craig Coblenz.

Former Meredith Publishing and Newsweek/Daily Beast executive Hillary Billingsley was also appointed as chief revenue officer.

Over 220,000 publishers, including 4 of the top 10 newspapers and 10 of the top 50 global brands, use ThingLink to transform images into an interactive surface for rich media – including video players, social links and other apps – that makes content discoverable, engageable and sellable.

Hundreds of automotive, fashion, entertainment, B2B and consumer brands have used ThingLink to introduce products, educate customers, and deploy shoppable images with interactive video, music, and information links.

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About ThingLink
ThingLink is the most popular platform for creating and distributing interactive images for blogs, web pages, social channels and advertising. ThingLink is used by more than 220,000 publishers in 46 countries, including leading newspapers and magazines, brands, digital agencies, universities, schools, and long-tail bloggers. For more information visit: ThingLink.com and ThingLinkPress.com

Contact: Neil Vineberg, CMO (+1 631 377 1494)

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ThingLink – Popular Rich Media Tags You Can Add to Images

Drive convenience for customers and make content discoverable by adding ThingLink Rich Media Tags to your interactive images. Here’s a variety of popular apps that you can add to ThingLink images to feature content from: Etsy, Amazon, Instgram, Rdio, Bambuser, Scribd, Polldaddy, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Slideshare, ClickThrough, Spotify, eBay, LinkedIn, EventBrite, Google Maps, SoundCloud, Vimeo, Meetup, MailChimp, Wikpedia, Flickr and more.

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ThingLink Updates Editor with Search and Preview

Today we are happy to share a major improvement to the image editor on our web platform at ThingLink.com.Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 1.34.17 PM

You can now use our search functionality to find wonderful content for your images.

Your search will query content at Etsy, SoundCloud, Amazon, ThingLink pictures, YouTube and Vimeo.

Run your search, click on an item you want to feature in your image, save tag, and it’s added to your image with a preview so you can see what it looks like when hovered.

As always you can add a tag description of up to 1500 characters and change the icon to a standard one for free user accounts or a custom one for premium user accounts.

If you want your company’s products featured in ThingLink Search, please contact our business development team.

 

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ThingLink Mobile: Tips for Adding Live Videos to Images

ThingLink Mobile is the ideal iOS App for creating interactive images with embedded video players, text links and @Twitter IDs. This post focuses on adding live videos to images.

Take a picture with your iPhone using ThingLink Mobile (or use an existing photo). I saw the band Chicago at Westbury Music Fair this weekend and used ThingLink to capture videos of my favorite songs on images shot at the show.

 Here’s how you can take family and concert photos and capture moments around you daily by adding videos into your images.

1 Open ThingLink Mobile on your iPhone.

2 Take a new photo or use any image from your gallery.

3 Touch the image and two options appear:

photo

 

      Add Text - touch and add any text including #hashtags and @Twitter handles.

   Add Video – touch and you’ll see three video options

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now lets add a video.

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  Take a Video – shoot your own 30 second videos.

  Choose from Gallery – add videos you’ve already shot with iPhone.

   Add from YouTube – touch and open up a search on YouTube – add your favorite videos from YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

TIPS for Adding Live Video – to avoid seeing upside down or sideways videos inside the image:

Shooting video with the REAR camera, hold the iPhone with the HOME button to your right.

Shooting video with the FRONT camera, hold the iPhone with the HOME button to your left.

IMPORTANT: NEVER shoot videos with the camera held vertically.

photo 3If you see an iPhone image overlay while getting set to shoot a video, it means you’re holding the camera incorrectly.

The iPhone image overlay is an error message.  Flip the camera until that overlay disappears. When the image disappears, you’re ready to shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image below is what you see if you shoot video and have the HOME button on the wrong side.  The image overlay is an error message. Flip the camera until that overlay disappears.

photo 4

 

Here is what you should see when you’re holding the camera properly.  Now, you’re ready to shoot.

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Good luck shooting ThingLink Mobile videos.  Questions? Write to support@thinglink.com.

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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.
Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 13.00.04

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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ThingLink unveils image icons for creative storytelling

 

We at ThingLink are all about fun and creative ways to tell and discover stories.  As much as we love black and white dots, we decided it was time to give you something more to play with. To your delight and inspiration, we are now introducing new image icons that will make tagging so much fun! There are birds, hearts, triangles, question marks, and this is only the beginning! See the new image icons used for the history of London’s subway and in this cool family photo.

Check out the new icons and make something fun!

 

Suggest new tag icons!

What symbols, colors, or shapes would you like to use to tag your images? Tell us and we will listen. Send your idea to social@thinglink.com, and our designer Palash will work hard to deliver new sets for you. Tell us about the icon you want to see!

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Featuring hidden clips and tracks in your ThingLink images

Many ThingLink users have asked us about how to feature hidden tracks from YouTube and Soundcloud in ThingLink images. We’ve tweaked things a bit and made it really simple to tag image using clips and tracks that have been marked secret on YouTube and SoundCloud. Here’s how:

YOUTUBE

In this post by Google, they describe in detail how to unlist your clips on YouTube. Here’s the short version:

1. Sign into your YouTube Account

2. Click on your account name located in the top right of any page. Click on Video Manager from the expanded menu.

3. Choose the video you want to edit and click the Edit button below the video thumbnail.

4. Scroll down to the Basic Info tab and find the Privacy section.

5. You’ll see the option to make the video Public, Unlisted, or Private.

6. Select Unlisted. Make sure to click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

7. Copy the URL of your video

8. Paste the URL into ThingLink’s tag editor and you’re set to go.

After this, only the viewers seeing the interactive image will be able to see the unlisted video.

 

SOUNDCLOUD

Soundcloud has full instruction on how to make your tracks secret, but here’s the short story:

1. Create or select a track on SoundCloud.com.

2. Click the pen to edit the track’s preferences.

3. Scroll down to Settings and select Private. The default is Public. Now the track is hidden.

4. Click Save and go back to your track.

5. Click Share on your track and a dropdown menu will appear.

6. Copy the Secret link.

7. Paste it into ThingLink’s tag editor and you’re done.

Only the viewers seeing the interactive image will be able to listen to the hidden track.

Visit ThingLink to make your own.

 

 

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