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 Facebook.
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.”
Example: Mèdecins Sans Frontiérs on Facebook Timeline via ThingLink: https://www.facebook.com/msf.english/posts/10151343426237385
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.
At launch tomorrow, we are supporting YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Imgur, Flickr, Twitter, iTunes, and all Open Graph tags inside images. We will add support for more tags (including custom 3rd party tags) in the coming weeks.
How does it work: Touch the FB sharing icon on any ThingLink image or drop a ThingLink image url to FB Timeline directly.
When ThingLink interactive images are shared into Twitter, brands have commonly seen 5-30x improvements in engagement. Wherever ThingLink images are used on Web pages, the discoverability of content inside images makes those pages”stickier”, with increases in time spent on page.
Source: ThingLink press release
BANDS: Social Media Profiles and Their Roles
A lot of bands like to think if they have “X” amount of social profiles and one stream of content, they will get more exposure spreading the same content across all of those accounts. This is the biggest fallacy in social media marketing. It’s easy sometimes to forget that all the available social media profiles have different strengths for certain kinds of content, and it makes more sense to give each profile a specific role so fans have a reason to follow all of them.
Everyone knows Facebook is the biggest social hub on the web, but it’s limited by it’s # of posts you’re allowed to share everyday. The maximum you can share on Facebook is 2-3 times a day and no more, or else face the undesirable fate of being “un-liked.” Just based off that fact, it’s best to use Facebook for your major news, regarding tours and new releases. On top of that, use Facebook’s visual appeal, i.e. photos and music videos. Even if Timeline pretty much killed the effectiveness of apps, always have an app to share tour dates, songs to sell, etc.
Twitter should be the individual conversation platform. Use Twitter for having direct engagements with your fans. It needs to light-hearted, human and genuine. Twitter is the last important front for showing your true personality when all else seems too marketed. However, it’s never awful to try the occasional real-time Twitter contest to promote your annual release. It’s also the easiest way to show off your fan love by blasting out their supportive tweets. Make yourself look popular and humble at the same time.
Tumblr is your day-to-day journal, which your fans can follow to read up on the small details of tour, studio time and interviews with the press. Tumblr posts should be constructed and shared without a filter. Try and show yourself and your band’s true personality through your writing in telling stories. Don’t be afraid to be longwinded, it’s not limited to photos and 140 characters. Try to come up with a weekly editorial series that your fans can look forward to every week.
Let Instagram tell a story about outside of how your fans view you as a musician. Use it freely, but responsibly. Share a photo of your favorite place to eat or something funny you saw on the street. It’s okay to be really trivial with Instagram. Your fans will still find it entertaining.
And then there were three.
The bidding war for EMI — the record label behind Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum, and Coldplay — is over. A consortium headed by Sony (SNE) agreed to pay $2.1 billion for EMI’s publishing business earlier this month, while Vivendi’s Universal Music was the last suitor standing with its $1.9 billion bid for the label itself.
Breaking EMI in two was inevitable, but the meaty morsel here is that EMI’s publishing arm sold for more than the label itself. In other words, EMI’s past is more valuable than its present and future.
Need a Tissue?
There aren’t too many people mourning the passing of the major labels. The labels and their thin artist rosters monopolize the already limited playlists of commercial radio. Then there’s the negative publicity stirred up when the label-backed RIAA went after unemployed moms downloading tracks. Music piracy is a problem that needs to be addressed, but the labels didn’t do themselves any favor by making it personal.
Even the fact that Universal will now control nearly 40% of the market — leaving Sony at 30%, Warner Music Group at 19%, and a smattering of indies battling for the rest — is unlikely to raise eyebrows with antitrust regulators. Prerecorded music has been a fading industry for years, and herding struggling labels together will only make it that much easier to identify the remains.
The Gradual Fadeout
CD sales peaked in 2000 when the labels sold 942 million units, raking in $13.2 billion in sales. It’s been pretty much downhill the rest of the way.
Digital sales were supposed to save the day, but the label-backed MusicNet and pressplay initiatives were too restrictive. It didn’t make sense that music lovers had to jump through more hoops to pay for music than the pirated options available on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.
Apple (AAPL) finally got it right with the iTunes Music Store, which launched in 2003. Labels didn’t like the $0.99 price point for singles. Artists didn’t like the pricing either, since it found consumers cherry-picking the songs they actually liked instead of paying $9.99 for complete albums. However, Apple’s storefront was far better for the industry than the piracy alternative.
Legal downloads should have been the industry’s salvation. Record companies — what were then five major labels and countless independents — would benefit from the benefits of digital distribution. Labels wouldn’t have to worry about pressing and packaging discs. There were no shipping or return hassles. Apple did all of the work, and labels got to keep roughly two-thirds of the sales. Unfortunately, it didn’t play out that way. The growth in digital music — which by 2008 found Apple replacing Wal-Mart (WMT) as the country’s largest music retailer — wasn’t enough to offset the serious slide in CD sales.
Internet Killed the Radio Star
What went wrong? The labels will point back to Napster, LimeWire, Kazaa, and other disruptive peer-to-peer networks that swayed countless Web-savvy users to download and share pirated tracks. They’re right, but there’s a bigger picture that the major labels are missing.
The Internet made it easier to swap virtual mix tapes, but it also armed garage bands with the tools to get noticed. The playing field was leveled as artists set up MySpace music pages and uploaded tracks to the original MP3.com website.
Where would Justin Bieber or Susan Boyle be without YouTube? How many bands are scoring national attention through Facebook fan pages?
For better or regrettably worse, everyone’s demo tape is now a click away.
Who says you need a major label for digital distribution? Getting your music on iTunes, Spotify, or any of the popular e-music stores and streaming sites will cost most artists less than a video game.
In terms of getting noticed, setting up pages on YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook are no-brainers, but music-dedicated sites including Bandcamp and SoundCloud are also there for promoting your digital presence.
The opportunities keep coming. Google (GOOG) introduced the Google Music Artist Hub last Wednesday, giving artists a free way to get their music available on what are now 200 million activated Android devices.
Last Round for the Music Moguls
The record companies aren’t worthless, even in this scorched climate. Even if CDs go away, there are still promotional, radio, and touring benefits that are easier to secure under a major label. The problem for the prerecorded music industry is that the gap between the signed and unsigned has narrowed.
Even proven bands are finding it more lucrative to leave their labels and strike out on their own. As home recording equipment gets better and cheaper, record companies are no longer necessary to bankroll the once costly recording sessions.
Labels used to love signing artists with established followings, but now those same artists are wondering why they should be tied down to long-term deals when they have the digital distribution tools at their disposal to reach their growing audiences.
There’s a new world out there, and its soundtrack is being scored by unsigned artists that you don’t know — yet.
Facebook has yet to create an easy and obvious way for users to Like the Pages of musicians they listen to, costing artists significant marketing opportunities. Since the listening activity of Spotify, Rdio, and other music service users began being automatically shared to the social network late last month, Facebook Pages of musicians have not been gaining fans any faster.
Musical artists and record labels should push Facebook to implement a better retention mechanism that helps them convert listeners into fans who they can then reach with marketing updates through the news feed. This could come in the form of a Like button for an artist’s Page on feed stories about users listening to them, or a a “Recommended Musicians” panel that suggests users Like the artists they listen to most.
Until then, Facebook is gaining compelling feed stories about listening habits and data it can monetize through ad targeting without returning the favor to musicians.
Currently, to Like an artist they have been listening to, users have to find a story about their listening activity in the news feed, Ticker, or Timeline. The use can then click through the artist’s name to visit their Page and Like them. A lesser known method is to hover over the artist’s name and use the Like button in the hover card. The hidden buttons and high friction flows mean only users already intent on Liking an artist will become fans.
Facebook’s music partnerships are making some money for musicians by driving usage of streaming services that pay out royalties when an artist’s songs are streamed. However, these royalties can be just a fraction of a cent per listen. Artists depend on concert ticket and merchandise sales that Facebook’s music apps aren’t helping them increase directly.
Many artists use their Facebook Pages to promote their tours and merchandise lines in the news feed, but only fans receive these updates — not listeners. However, the 20 most popular musician Facebook Pages and the Pages of a dozen smaller artists we checked showed no increase in the rate of new Likes starting on September 22nd when the music partnerships launched. Therefore, it’s important that Facebook make it easier for users to Like the artists listen to.
Article originally appeared on Hypebot (http://www.hypebot.com) and was written by Josh Constine.