A picture is worth a thousand words…

But what if the picture *had* words?

Meet ThingLink, which has been kicking around on the internet at least since 2010, but which I only discovered this week.

ThingLink is a “platform for creating interactive images and videos for web, social, advertising, and educational channels” – basically you can annotate your pictures and add links, videos, and other media directly into your image, which you can click on once you have hovered over the image.

Try mousing over my image below (of my poster for the Allied Health conference), and hovering over each spot on the image to read some more. You can also see the image full-size here on ThingLink itself.

At first glance, it seems a really cool tool that works well with visual images – maybe not with ones already quite text-heavy. I was looking through the featured images that use ThingLink and quite like these ones:

The truth about best before dates by Prajakta Dhopade

Or this one:

The Fault in our Stars by Alaina Pollock

At first glance, I really like this platform. It’s simple, easy-to-use, and the basic account is free. If you pay a little bit, you can customize the icons on the image, track statistics of how many people are clicking on the image, and where they are coming from, but the basic one is fine to play around with.

I’m just struggling to think of ways to use it in library promotion or information literacy instruction. I was tossing up using a screenshot of the library homepage, and maybe using some of these ‘annotations’ to help explain the main parts of the page, but I’m worried that might be a bit wordy. It might be fun to use it for book reviews (like the Fault in our Stars above), or maybe in a infographic style for our stats (maybe create an image on Canva or Piktochart, and then import it into this programme and annotate it), but I’d love to hear some more ideas of how to use it – or how you are using it right now!

So what do you think this could be useful for? How could you use it to spice up some of the promotional material in your library or social media posts? Or is it not the right tool for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

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