ThingLink embeds itself into popular culture
"ThingLink makes it possible to add contextual information and call-to-action links to images and video, so that people can directly interact with the content they see," ThingLink founder and CEO Ulla Engestrom explains.
Some 3.5 million online publishers, educators, students and marketers around the globe have engaged with the platform. Whilst casual users are drawn to ThingLink's freemium image and video editors, professionals can also upgrade to a premium, paid version.
"First we started building 'a layer of links on top of everything', so that any visual environment could become 'clickable'," Engestrom recalls. "We applied this layer to images, then videos and now virtual reality [VR]."
Using VR headsets to experience immersive 360-degree photos is indeed the next step in the evolution of digital photography. ThingLink can naturally be found at the forefront of this movement.
"We make 360 publishing easy and affordable so that anyone can become a VR content creator," Engestrom outlines. "After releasing our 360 editor, our premium account sales grew 38 per cent in a month.
This embrace of VR is expanding ThingLink's business reach even further. Meeting demand for suitable images, the company has recently partnered up with 360Cities in order to launch a global 360 photo service.
"Marketers, from consumer goods and fashion, to tourism and real estate, are eager to start publishing in 360 and VR, but don't have the time to find a good photographer and arrange a photoshoot," Engestrom states. "ThingLink's existing clients can now access custom 360 images from skilled contributors to 360Cities, and use the ThingLink platform to easily and cost-efficiently create their own customised virtual reality experiences in a matter of hours in any major city of the world."
And so, in the midst of all of this timely visual innovation, one wonders what kind of future ThingLink is now training its lens on.
"We will provide the best interactive media solution for images and video, bring interactive 360 photos to education and online publishing and build a profitable SaaS business," Engestrom outlines.
Layers of success
As business success involves not only having a good idea, but also finding an appropriate moment of implementation, the boost given to ThingLink's interactive media platform by the Finnish Vigo accelerator programme proved to be most timely indeed.
"When we were developing our core technology and setting up operations in the US, Vigo gave us the funding we needed to take the leap over the Atlantic. Without it we could have not expanded operations to the US at the pre-revenue stage."
This proved to be a critical step for ThingLink. Once Stateside, the company was able to build both its community of users and SaaS business, overhauling the way people perceive and consume images and videos in the process.
- CEO Ulla Engestrom
- Founded: 2010
- Employees: 11
Text: James O'Sullivan