ThingLink is one of those startup companies offering a feature that can either wind up being a big deal or an easily-forgotten blip. It basically allows users to place links in photographs or in this case allows artists to place "buy" links into images found throughout the Web.
Today, ThingLink announced deals with Apple and Topspin, allowing users to direct fans to either the iTunes store or Topspin's custom stores. The upshot is that any photo-such as an artist photo, album cover, photography from events, etc-can have embedded a link to these stores.
ThingLink calls them "rich media tags," and it already works with YouTube, Spotify, Wikipedia, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and so on. ThinkLink adds little interactive dots into the image, which when a fan scrolls over pops up the information of what it will link to. In addition to the music stores, it can also link to band websites, Facebook pages, etc. It previously hooked up with SoundCloud to add streaming music into the images.
The company made the announcement today at the SFMusicTech conference in San Francisco, so while virtually anyone can take advantage of the ThingLink features, it's obviously targeting music in a big way.
It'll be interesting to see how well it adds other streaming music features, such as from the main streaming services.
You can get a sense of how it all works from the example posted on the company's website here.