Taggstar today launches a public version of its technology platform to online publishers of all sizes, enabling them to make their online images richer and more engaging.Taggstar lets publishers add layers of content to their online images, making them interactive and shareable. Images are often the most eye-catching and valuable piece of real estate on a web page but they usually remain un-interactive, unexplored and underused. Taggstar provides publishers with the platform to build compelling stories around their online images.
Via a simple self-signup process at Taggstar.com, online publishers and bloggers can instantly begin using the Taggstar platform and join the Taggstar image network.
Taggstar is already working with a wide range of media partners including MSN, Sky Living, the Telegraph, Hearst Magazines (including Harper’s Bazaar) and The Independent. Early engagement rates have been consistently high, ranging from an average of 12% to almost 40% for certain high profile celebrities.
At the heart of the Taggstar platform lies the ability for publishers to bring their images to life, layering them with related links and multimedia content which invites readers to engage more deeply with the visual content on a page. When a publisher adds a ‘tag’ to an image, a hotspot appears in the desired position which readers can touch or hover over to reveal the relating link or piece of content. Content that might be tagged could include other relevant images, articles or web pages; additionally, the Taggstar platform lets publishers embed relevant video and audio content along with written comments and ideas.
All content and links are engaged with inside the image, meaning that site visitors can remain within the article or page they are reading, unless they decide to follow a relating link.
Furthermore, as online publishers increasingly search for new revenue streams, Taggstar opens up new opportunities for monetisation. Publishers can make their image galleries ‘shoppable’, with links that lead to ecommerce sites. They can create ‘exact match’ links with a ‘buy’ button, replicating the ‘Get the Look’ concept that is already happening within print. Taggstar’s proprietary image search technology is able to scour hundreds of thousands of product images from its network of over 200 retailers, and display the best results based on colour, pattern and style. The traffic they generate can turn into affiliate commissions, sold on a CPA basis, creating one more much-needed revenue stream for publishers with a high enough volume of traffic. Currently, the ‘create a shop’ feature is focused on the fashion category, but new categories will be available soon.
Taggstar also encourages the social sharing of images. Once a publisher has Taggstar-enabled its website, the toolbar becomes visible at the bottom of all images within the site, offering social share icons for platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Site visitors can choose to share images that they like (or even specific detail within an image) with their personal social networks, introducing a peer-to-peer influencer model, particularly when products and places are featured within an image.
Fraser Robinson, founder and CEO of Taggstar, comments: “At the moment we are seeing a marked shift towards a discovery-based internet experience, and images lie at the heart of that online journey. With Taggstar, online publishers can unlock the story within their images, transforming static pictures into navigable spaces embedded with richer content and information. The publishers that we are working with already are experiencing extremely high levels of engagement, which tells us that readers are keen to explore and interact with images. This will soon become an expected part of the user experience.
“We are delighted to be opening up our technology to publishers of all sizes, and an exciting product roadmap lies ahead.”