Mobile Journalism iPhone
Credit: Image by Mark Hakansson

The Washington Post is the first news outlet to use ThingLink Mobile, a new iOS app due to launch next month.

The news title used a pre-release version of the app to create sharable interactive images from the White House Correspondents' Dinner held at the weekend.

The app is a mobile version of ThingLink, a free tool that transforms flat images by letting users add links to other content such as video, audio and Wikipedia entries.

Washington Post reporters used the new app to add a video of Obama’s speech to a still image and added captions to photos of celebrities.

Reporters also used ThingLink's desktop app to create an image showing what was in the swag bag from a pre-party on Friday, which was then added to the The Grid, the Washington Post's live experience platform.

ThingLink's desktop app has been available for some time and has been used by news outlets including, which has added audio and videos to gig posters (see the example here). It was also used by the Berliner Morgenpost, a German newspaper, to add Wikipedia explainers to an image showing the people in the Situation Room in the White House during the raid that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden.

The new ThingLink app, which will be available for iPhone and iPad, is "about creating content on the go", Cyril Barrow, ThingLink's chief operating officer, told

Journalists and other users will be able to take a photo or select one from the iPhone or iPad's camera roll and then add interactive content.

Initially users will be able to add plain text, a Twitter handle, a video taken from their own smartphone or a YouTube video. The app will then be updated allowing other content to be added to images, such as geolocation details and Facebook friends.

ThingLink Mobile interactives can then be shared on Facebook, Twitter and via email. The image will be fully interactive  within Twitter, and on Facebook timelines.

After bringing interactive images to Twitter at the end of last year, ThingLink last week launched interactive images for Facebook timelines aimed at brands. Barrow said today that the click-through rate is 10 times better on an interactive image on Facebook timeline compared to a standard banner.

ThingLink is a previous tool of the week for journalists.

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