A Trend to Watch: Mobile Storytelling

Mobile storytelling will be more than a buzz expression in the near future: it will shape, no, call it reshape, the way marketers communicate on mobile and smart devices. The main requirements for quality content online will apply: make it interesting, and engaging. But then, mobile has its special requirements to follow, and early adopters are most likely to make waves.

Introducing Shutterfly Photo Story App for iPad – a leap forward for those who want to take the time to refine their photo sharing experiences. It is dubbed “an easy and fun app that lets you make a photo book you can hold, hear and share,” and it shows a little of what can be done with smart devices.

Shutterfly Photo Story for iPad

An easy and fun app that lets you make a photo book you can hold, hear and share.

Free and easy to use, the app promises a lot, in terms of adoption, and engagement. It pulls photos from Facebook, Instagram, Shutterfly and iPad photo stream, allowing you to create an interactive photo story book, with 30-second audio messages to accompany each page.

Scan the QR code on the back of a printed Shutterfly photo book, and you bring that audio message to life in real world too.

Designed for leisure users, the potential for business is huge. Imagine AUDI, for instance, launching a new model, and using such a tool to share the experience. Quality photos, accompanied by savvy and short, audio marketing messages, can go a long way.

Right now, when a photo book is created with Shutterfly Photo Story, users can share it via email and Facebook, and order a hard copy. Imagine what would happen if the photo stories would be embeddable, like a slide show. Instead of working hard to create visual content to go with a story, journalists would have access to mobile-ready photo stories to engage more readers.

The business benefit is obvious: offer creative commons images that can be used without copyright issues, and enable bloggers and citizen journalists to push your stories beyond limited online environments, to users and potential customers on the go.

This is a huge window of opportunity for early adopters. The minute a brand understands the importance of mobile storytelling, business outreach, as we know it, will change. The role of PR becomes increasingly important too: is the audio message right? Are the images safe, inoffensive? Will mobile users enjoy the story? And what makes a good story, after all?

By all accounts, Shutterfly gives you the right idea:

“Shutterfly Photo Story represents the next generation of photo books, giving consumers a dynamic way to share their stories anytime, anywhere,” said Karl Wiley, General Manager of Shutterfly.

There are only 10 custom designs for a Shutterfly Photo Story Book now: imagine what would happen if brands can opt to customize them in countless ways. Food for thought for Shutterfly: create Shutterfly Business Mobile Storytelling, and ask the brilliant brains that pushed Procter & Gamble beyond the norm to chip in, and refine the tool for business.

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