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Use Thinglink To Add Interactivity To Images: Review And Feature Set

October 15th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

This is a guest post by Namanyay Goel. Namanyay is a Graphic Designer and a blogger. You can read his blog here.  If you would like to write for TheDolt’s Blog, do read our page Be My Guest; Write A Guest Post.

Thinglink is a new tool for bloggers to add interactivity to their blogs.

“Thinglink tag editor lets you define interactive hotspots inside an image — from a THING (an object, a person, or a place) to a LINK (a shop, a blog post, or anywhere you like)”

Thinglink is an interactive tool that lets you add interactivity to images. Using Thinglink, you can link portions of  the image (things) to other sites, or give some informative text, or a music file (link).  Images can have multiple links added to them. Thinglink tool has to be added to websites (You can add it to Blogger, Typepad, WordPress and many other. WordPress instructions can be found below). To use it, you have to open Thinglink in a separate tab, and your website/blog in one tab. Then you can edit images to add interactivity.

Pros

The best feature of Thinglink is that you can advertise and earn money from your Images using Amazon Affiliate. Also, as it is not widely known, the factor of surprise and awe will be a lot more. It is very useful to Bloggers as –

  • It is an easy way to make people focus on what you want.  Tag “things” to descriptive text, or to a site, or some music, to get people’s attention.
  • It can act as multiple captions. Just tag your image, and you’re good to go. It’s also better than the traditional caption, as the traditional caption doesn’t allow music, or links.
  • It adds interactivity to your site. This means that users will spend more time on your site, thus decreasing your bounce rate.
  • If a person shares it, you earn a backlink. This is one of the best things about Thinglink. The images are easy to share and if you tag the image with your site’s name, you are sure to get a click.
  • It works on mobiles too.
  • You can add music to images: This is especially useful if you are promoting something. Music in images is synced with SoundCloud. Music can be embedded on Album art, posters, etc.
  • It’s Free!
  • No watermark.

How Can it be Used

  • To create party invitations. Just tag a cool photo with your address, name and time.
  • To give recipe instructions. Click a photo of your ingredients together (you should add the end product too) and tag them respectively. You can also link them using Amazon Affiliate, and earn some bucks if a user buys the ingredients through that tag.
  • You can share songs with a descriptive image: As already explained, it will help in promotion if you are going to perform a small stage show.
Another recommended tag is to yourself. To your blog/site, to your Facebook Page/Profile, to your Twitter Holder. This will ensure more publicity, as well as clicks, if users share the image.

Cons

    • Takes time to load.
    • Compatibility issues are a major roadblock for Thinglink as the images do not work on all web browsers.

Get Started

Now you know about it, Whwt are you waiting for? Christmas? Sign Up For Thinglink Now!
Once you have signed up and logged in, you can start using Thinglink.  Learn how to use it in WordPress, Blogger and many others on its instructions page.

WordPress Installation Instructions

Note: Thinglink currently works only with self-hosted WordPress blogs as WordPress.com doesn’t support third-party plugins.

1. Log in to WordPress admin (usually yourblog.com/wp-admin).

2. Select Add New under Plugins in the left panel of your admin.

3. Search for “Official Thinglink Plugin” and install it.

4. After enabling the plugin, select Thinglink from Plugins menu and make sure Thinglink Id is filled in. If not, copy and paste your ID manually from My Account page.

6. Open your blog and start tagging your images by clicking the Edit tags icon. Remember to be logged into Thinglink in order to tag images.

Troubleshooting

My tags open partly outside images and get cut by site layout

You can force tags to open inside of your images, however in WordPress it is a bit more tricky:

1. Go to your WordPress admin page (usually yourblog.com/wp-admin)

2. Select Plugins and find Thinglink Official Plugin from the list of installed plugins

3. Click Edit next to it

4. Editing file thinglink/rjw-thinglink.php find the following lines of code

__tlid = '{$thinglink_id}';
setTimeout(function ...

5. After

 __tlid = '{$thinglink_id}';

add the following line:

__tlconfig = {vOverflow: false, hOverflow: false};
To allow tag bubbles to open on the sides of the image, set hOverflow:true, and to allow them to open above the image, set
 vOverflow:true .

6. Click Update File and you should have your tags opening inside the images!

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  1. July 13th, 2012 at 12:24 | #1

    What do thinglink do on dead links? Can it bring it back?
    My recent post חינוך מבוגרים

  2. Abby
    December 18th, 2011 at 21:07 | #2

    You should also check out Luminate and Stipple…they also have interesting solutions in the same space. I also found this interesting comparison between the three….even though the comparison seems one-sided, its helpful nevertheless. http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-bet

    Thanks for the post and keep them coming!

  3. November 29th, 2011 at 22:47 | #3

    Just to let you know that we just changed the way tags are laid out, so any clipping issues should now be fixed.

  4. November 26th, 2011 at 18:10 | #4

    Hi!

    Thanks for the review! I would very much like to hear which browsers you had problems with; we do test regularly on IE7-9, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Sometimes fast-moving browsers like Chrome tend to break stuff, but we usually fix any problems within a couple of weeks at the latest. However, since the internet is a very dynamic place, sometimes we encounter sites and pages which can break Thinglink, but we do put priority on fixing these problems.

    So please do let me know of any sites or browsers you’re having problems with, preferably at http://support.thinglink.com/ or just email directly to the address on this comment :-)

    We’ll also fix the clipping issue in our next release. Thanks for publishing the workaround!