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February 19, 2013

ThingLink vs. Stipple

ThinglinkStipple

Make Photos Smarter

The saying goes “a picture tells 1,000 words” but tell that to anyone who works in social media and they’ll say “if only.” Well now, with the help of social tagging platforms like ThingLink and Stipple, your photos really can tell 1,000 words, videos, songs, whatever you want or need to tell that full story in less than 140 characters.

If you’re a social media professional, you’re likely already aware of how photos help to increase engagement with your updates. It’s a given best practice to share a photo whenever possible as this eye catching content increases your chances for garnering chatter and shares, but sharing a photo just for the heck of it isn’t always possible for brands. There needs to be a clear goal behind the purpose of sharing that photo and there’s also a fine line that needs to be walked in order to keep the message clear and concise. This is where platforms such as ThingLink and Stipple can help.

Say you have an idea for a message on your social platform that drives a certain goal, but you are overwhelmed with the amount of available content you have to share to drive that goal. In most cases you would space these pieces of content out into a plethora of updates to ensure a continuous flow of messaging that your fans can engage with throughout the week. But with EdgeRank, it’s important to be very strategic about pushing out only the best content on Facebook. ThingLink and Stipple make this much easier by allowing you to combine your messages into one very engaging photo post.

When sharing with both ThingLink and Stipple, tags pop up when users hover over various parts of the image. Then, with a click, a user can open up YouTube channels, audio clips, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest profiles, home pages, e-commerce, contact forms, bios or anything else you would normally be able to link to.

Both of these platforms are working with some very large brands to utilize these engaging images to tell their story and drive e-commerce, but choosing between the two platforms is a little bit trickier to determine.

The Breakdown

ThingLink:

ThingLink ensures native support for an incredible number of online services:

TLSupport

ThingLink lets you create your own rich-media tags from other sites or services using the Open Graph system. The second advantage is the variety of icons available, letting the reader easily differentiate a video from an Amazon link or a Facebook account. It’s even possible to import your own icons.

ThingLink is also tied to Twitter Cards, which will automatically be enabled for you when sharing a ThingLink so the visual format displayed is very eye-catching and engaging.

ThingLink has two platform offerings, one of which is totally FREE which of course we love! The differences between the free and premium accounts are the amount of metrics you receive on the backend, but there is still a very fair amount of metrics offered via the free account that any advertiser would happily embrace.

Some examples of ThingLinks:


Stipple

Stipple also offers a very sleek and engaging format withnative support of many services (Evenbrite, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Soundcloud, Twitter, Vimeo, Wikipedia, Youtube, Google Maps). Like ThingLink, Stipple images are automatically embedded into tweets, but Stipple does not seem to offer the custom tag options that ThingLink does. It also does not offer a totally free option either. After a max number of unique interactions (unique people mousing over your tags), Stipple charges you a CPE (Clicks Per Engagement) rate. This may not be a problem for giant global corporations, but small brands don’t always have the budget for this sort of experiment right off the bat.

Some examples of Stipples

stippled-photo

stippled-photo

stippled-photo

So to boil it down, we’re recommending ThingLink as the route to take when making these engaging images based on ease, cost (Free!) and customization options. Although Stipple is a very strong competitor it just isn’t quite there in terms of value at the moment.

Have you tried either of these platforms? If so, tell us your thoughts in the comments!

 

Brands, HIP, Social Media, Twitter

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