Creating the Vanity Fair Best-Dressed Challenge

January 31, 2013 Add Comment Monica Watson

Every year, Vanity Fair compiles the International Best Dressed List. The list has included names like Grace Kelly and Kate Middleton, and now it can include you. The International Best Dressed Challenge, powered by Chute, allows users to either directly upload photos or tag them with #vfbestdressed on Twitter and Instagram to enter the contest. You can pick your favorite looks in the gallery and also filter it by most popular, username, and editor’s picks. Users are able to share individual photos on a variety of social media platforms, and advertisements fit in seamlessly.

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Vanity Fair worked with Chute to develop and design this fully customized platform for their site, but generating photos and enabling interaction is simple to do within Chute. After receiving an account to SlideChute.com, you are able to go in and create your own Chutes. Then, you can set how you collect photos – from the social stream, direct upload, or both. Customers can create a personalized tag – like Vanity Fair did with #vfbestdressed.

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Any photo uploaded to Twitter or Instagram with your tracked hashtags will be uploaded in real-time to your Chute. You can choose to moderate the photos before they go live or after, pick out only select photos to display, and select which layout you prefer. Customization and deployment is made simple with Chute, the most powerful and flexible platform for utilizing user-generated content.

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Front Lines of the Visual Revolution

January 30, 2013 Add Comment Monica Watson

1. Vine

Of course this week’s Front Lines post has to include Twitter’s new video recording app, Vine. In 2006, 86 billion photos were taken. In 2012, that number shot up to 380 billion. Twitter is losing the photo battle against Facebook, but the company sees online video as the next big platform. Camera phones and apps like Instagram made photography more accessible to everyday users. Now with most smartphones coming out with HD video recording capabilities, technology will do for video what it did for photography.

2. The New York Times

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With such a huge increase in photography over the past few years, publishers want to find different ways to tap into the content and talent. The New York Times is using the opportunity to discover new photographers with the New York Portfolio Review, powered by Chute. Users can submit their portfolios until 11:59 PM on Feb. 13, and 150 budding photographers will have their work reviewed in-person by the photo editors at the Times.

3. Puppy Bowl

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The Puppy Bowl is the best sporting event ever. Let’s be honest, an event that includes a kitten half time show has no equal (sorry Beyonce). The adorable athletes are actually shelter animals looking for homes, and the Puppy Bowl helps get them adopted and generates interest in viewers to go out and adopt from their local shelters. Animal Planet is doing some pretty awesome online visual campaigns around the event this year too. Each puppy has its own video profile, and there’s a live puppy cam for audiences to get their puppy fix before the show. The Puppy Bowl website and app are visual feasts for puppy lovers – a niche market of Animal Planet’s audience.

TV ratings continue to decline, so it makes sense for media companies to create secondary visual content that creates a more personal experience for specific fans. With Hulu, Netflix, and Youtube on the rise, users no longer need to rely solely on television for their entertainment. Media companies now need to give viewers a reason to watch TV, and the opportunity to have a more intimate and visually engaging experience does just that.

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Chute at the Social Media Insider Summit

January 29, 2013 Add Comment Monica Watson

Developing a strong social media presence takes more than creating a Twitter account – it involves a strategic plan to develop content and campaigns that engages users. Chute co-founder, Ranvir Gujral, will be joining four other industry insiders during MediaPost’s Social Media Insider Summit on a panel discussing how brands and publishers can achieve this by leveraging user generated content from the social stream.

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Chute has worked with companies like Vanity Fair, NBC, and Red Bull to develop content that gives brands the tools to generate user-generated content and harness its potential. Ranvir will be bringing a knowledge of what has worked for brands in creating social presences and insight for what brands have to do in the future. He is joined by fellow industry leaders Tammy Gordon, Toni Jones, Vik Kathuria, and Geoff Shenk. The panel will be moderated by Carree Syrek, Chief Strategy Officer at Kinetic Social.

If you can’t attend the panel but would still like to learn more about how Chute can help your brand with social strategy we’d love to work with you.

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Twitter Joins the Visual Revolution with Vine

January 25, 2013 Add Comment Monica Watson

Vine, a new app from Twitter that allows users to create gif-like 6-second video clips that are embeddable in Tweets, was released Thursday. But what does this app mean for the visual revolution?

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Vine isn’t a new concept by any means. There are multiple apps that have been touted as the video answer to Instagram – SocialCam, Viddy, and Vyclone spring to mind. However, Twitter’s already large community provides a better opportunity for the app to take off. And it has. Vine was the top trending item and tweets with users’ #firstposts flooded dashboards, Chute HQ even got in on the fun.

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Twitter missed the bus with images. The company has an in-app photo tool and provides filters, but it didn’t achieve the same widely-used status as Instagram. However, they knew that visual media was a growing trend they couldn’t ignore. Storytelling is moving even more from a text-based format to image based. Why write 140 characters trying to describe something when you can take a photo or video of it? With the re-emergence of gifs in 2012 and consumer interest in online video, they jumped in on the upcoming trend.

Engaging users in a visual format isn’t an option for marketers and brands anymore. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all recognize the importance of the visual revolution. With customers making the switch from text to visuals, brands need to do the same, and Chute can help.

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Fashion Brands Getting in on User-Generated Content

January 24, 2013 Add Comment Monica Watson

Vanity Fair is giving you the opportunity to win a spot on the International Best Dressed List with the International Best Dressed Challenge, powered by Chute. The list has previously featured style icons like Grace Kelly and Kate Middleton, and now you can be next!

User-generated content is becoming vital in the fashion world. Just a few years ago, consumers had to discover new trends based on what celebrities were wearing. With the emergence of social media and fashion bloggers, trends can now be set by anyone with an internet connection. This provides huge potential for companies to engage users and broaden audiences. If you want to seize the potential provided by user-generated content, we can help you.

Here’s a round-up of some other companies that are doing great work in user-generated fashion content.

1. Pose

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Think of Pose as a kind-of Instagram for really stylish people. With its own built-in community of trendsetters, this app allows users to share photos of their daily style and engage with other users. With celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and online style icon Gabi Fresh singing its praises, the community has grown significantly over the last year.

2. Polyvore

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Polyvore allows users to create style inspiration boards with items of clothes found from a variety of fashion retailers. The boards end up looking like a page right out of a fashion magazine. One popular user, DisneyBound, has inspired community members to take inspiration from Disney movies in their fashion choices.

3. ModCloth

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This online fashion retailer, launched a line of designs created and voted on by their Facebook community through their Make the Cut contest. The winners included high school students and aspiring fashion designers. The contest was developed as part of their Be the Buyer program that offers users the opportunity to select which items will be sold on ModCloth.

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From the Front Lines of the Visual Revolution

January 23, 2013 Add Comment Monica Watson

This new weekly series highlights some of the great work companies are doing within the visual revolution. Images are vital to telling stories and engaging audiences, and these businesses have recognized the power behind them.

1. Etsy

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Etsy has acquired Mixel, which created a photo collage app that users can share in the Mixel community and other social media platforms. With the acquisition, Mixel is closing down their community, but with the team behind the visually stunning app joining Etsy there are sure to be some exiting features coming to the online retailer soon. Something we’re hoping to see is a more visually stunning way to browse shops and items.

2. Flickr

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Flickr released its own photo editing and sharing app in response to the popularity of Instagram and growing interest in instant mobile photography. The app allows users to share photos with the Flickr community and on other social media platforms. However, Flickr’s app allows for more advanced photo editing services in a variety of sizes, which is sure to interest their large photographer community. Social photography provides a fantastic outlet for people to connect and for brands to interact with users in engaging ways.

3. Twitter

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Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has tweeted the first embedded video on Twitter through the upcoming Vine app. The video is a few seconds in length and shows off the editing features that will be found in Vine. With photo and video becoming increasingly important for user experience, Twitter has been taking steps to increase its integration of visual media – first with its own Instagram-style photo editing service and now with the Vine app.

The visual revolution isn’t a trend; it’s the future. These companies are making strides to make sure visuals are a part of their platforms, and that power can be harnessed by brands. If you want to join the revolution we’d be happy to work with you.

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Inauguration 2013 with Chute and NBC News

January 21, 2013 Add Comment Monica Watson

For the second Inauguration of President Obama, NBC News is partnering with Chute to create a social gallery that allows anyone to be a part of the historic event. The gallery features photos from both NBC staff and users who Tweet or post to Instagram with the #NBCPolitics hashtag.

MSNBC also got in on visual storytelling at the Inauguration with the Chute app for their staff and also by tracking the #msnbc hashtag

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You can filter the photos based on any location in the US to see how people around the country are celebrating – from the White House to Hawaii. The photos update live and are  easy to share on a variety of platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest.

Not only are the social galleries empowering for consumers, but it is also allowing NBC and MSNBC to engage audiences and create brand advocates out of any user who utilizes their hashtag. By recognizing the importance of the visual revolution and online media, these two media outlets are building an active community and audience. The visual revolution is happening, and you can join by contacting Chute.

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National Geographic Lets You #framewhatmatters

January 17, 2013 Add Comment Monica Watson

On January 13, 1888 – 125 years ago – 33 of the world’s top explorers and scientists gathered together to create the National Geographic Society with the goal of increasing geographical knowledge. A few months later they published the first issue of the renowned National Geographic magazine.

However, it wasn’t until January of 1905 that they saw their membership soar – thanks to a new emphasis on photography. Over one hundred years later, they are still educating and engaging members through photography, video, and stories collected around the world. National Geographic does not shy away when it comes to embracing the visual revolution. With one of the most prominent Instagram accounts, they understand the power of images when interacting with their community and engaging new users.

From January 1905 National Geographic
Photo by Dr. Joseph F. Rock

Now, you have the opportunity to show National Geographic what is important in your life. Through their Frame What Matters campaign, powered by Chute, you become the explorer by putting the publication’s iconic yellow border around moments, places, and people that matter to you. Then, share those images with the #framewhatmatters tag and see them added in real time to FrameWhatMatters.org, where you can also view the photos submitted by other users.

Every person with a phone has the ability to be a historian, journalist, and explorer, and the #framewhatmatters campaign gives users the opportunity to take part in the history and future of National Geographic.

The visual revolution is growing, and we can help you harness its power too.

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