In their latest endeavor, Twitter has released a new feature unlike any other, which delivers a unique kind of experience to users. Working with company ThingLink, a website that enables users to upload images and make them interactive with digital content, Twitter aims to bring new life to its platform by allowing users to post more than just 140 characters.
By integrating ThingLink’s interactive photo’s into its platform, Twitter enables users to show those viewing their tweet a wide variety of content without having to link outside of Twitter’s website. When users hover over one of Thinglink’s images posted in a tweet, various icons pop up, which may feature audio clips, YouTube videos, Facebook or Pinterest profiles, information blurbs, or even shoppable content, all of which is viewable through Twitter’s website!
The Grammy’s recently used ThingLink to promote Whitney Houston’s many accomplishments over Twitter. All in the ThingLink photo, they posted; a small synopsis of Houston’s special broadcast, a fact about Houston’s Grammy wins, a link to exclusive behind the scene photo’s on The Grammy’s Instagram page, a list of Houston’s Grammy wins, and a Youtube video which is viewable right on Twitter’s site. In essence, one single image can become a small resource all in its own.
PSFK recently spoke with Neil Vineberg, CMO of ThingLink, to learn more about this new relationship:
Tell us about Thinglink?
Thinglink is a creative platform for individuals, marketers, or anyone who wants to add more to a moment and make their personal expression richer. We’re very excited about our relationship with Twitter, since it is already a communication platform that brings the whole world together. Essentially, Thinglink transforms 140 characters into something that is so much more.
How does ThingLink link its images to Twitter?
Essentially all you do is Tweet the image url from ThingLink.com, and it is automatically linked. When you open the images up from Twitter, you see all of this interactive content. We have a wide range of tags from interactive music and video players and social tags, to tags that can link consumers to a product page. The fact that you can move this media into Twitter as an interactive platform for people provides a great amount of convenience to consumers and many more possibilities for marketers attempting to share an immersive experience.
How effective has ThingLink been in bringing this interactivity to its users?
We find that the time on image is much longer than if the image has no interactivity, because right now, non-interactive image engagement is not measurable. These new images create a sense of interaction that was non-existent before ThingLink. Images in general are always compelling, but by adding these interactive experiences with ThingLink, you are adding a whole new dimension. It is not only storytelling, but it is also very immersive. You’re allowing people to touch and discover. I personally think that discovery is the marketing paradigm of the future. It allows brands to create a fair exchange with people by delivering value and a unique experience while giving them the opportunity to acquire what is being sold.
Are you seeing a lot of shoppable content on ThingLink?
We are. In the music industry for example, Ingrid Michaelson put out a song player where she published an image of lyrics to a song and introduced them to the audio clip, followed with a buy button. The engagement on the image was over 100% click-through.
How do you measure the amount of ‘views’ these images receive?
Here are the things we measure with images; the number of views the images has, and if there is content inside the image, we also inform users how many of these content tags were hovered. We also measure the amount of tags that are clicked. What we’re finding is globally, based on the 8.5 billion image views, the click-rate globally is 3.5%, which is substantially more than display advertising which is often getting a .2%-.5% click-through rate.