Taggar is an interesting app that allows users to identify images and objects and tag or mark them with a video, photo or sticker. A number of musicians are using them for marketing campaigns. Most notably Jason Derulo is in the midst of a campaign featuring a competition for best tags on the "Tattoos" album cover image. I think Taggar is potentially quite powerful but there is a potential spam issue which may be unavoidable and could be a real problem.
Tagger is currently a free iOS app with an Android version "coming soon." I haven't been keeping up with augmented reality apps for handheld mobile devices but they typically involve using the phone's camera to identify something and then have related content revealed whether informational or entertaining.
While some approaches include geolocation, so that you're tagging actual specific objects in the environment, Taggar takes an image recognition approach so that you would scan the cover of "Tattoos" not to identify an actual copy but to recognize the graphic image. That means you can scan any graphic of the cover, including on your computer screen, to tag "Tattoos."
The following video does a nice job of demonstrating the process of identifying an image, checking out previous tags and then tagging it yourself:
Taggar is a potentially powerful tool for music marketing in that it can combine fan-created content in a new form of mobile social network.
Jason Derulo is currently using it to help promote "Tattoos" according to an announcement from Taggar:
"Fans are given the chance to win tickets to his Tattoos World Tour simply by scanning the Tattoos album with the Taggar app. Each user is rewarded with exclusive video content and can tag Jason’s artwork with their own virtual ‘markers’. Jason will then pick the winner from his favorite tags. A second winner will be chosen based on the most popular tag on Taggar’s leaderboard."
The contest itself isn't the most original but that's actually a good thing. Fans will recognize most aspects of the process and the new part, Taggar, is not that hard to use.
Taggar Campaign for Jason Derulo
I fumbled around with Taggar a bit in my own special way and even though I knew I was missing some nuances I still enjoyed the process. Since I hadn't seen the above video, the Taggar logo turning into the image seen by one's camera before fulling loading was a nice surprise moment that creates a positive onboarding mini-effect.
But I also quickly found a tag for a random image that seemed to be a totally unrelated music video. And that raises a difficult spam problem given Taggar's democratic approach in which anyone can tag anything.
In an interview in December the head of marketing for Taggar's parent company Neurence, Charlotte Glunski, stated:
“It is user-generated content for the real world.”
She also clarified that the users are controlling the tagging, not the company, but that they are blocking or removing pornographic content.
Giving the users as much control as possible makes sense but it also means brands using the platform have to be willing to give up control. While brands are learning that giving up control is part of the social networking experience, it might be more difficult if the main image of one's work is getting spammed.
Nevertheless Taggar has a credible fun product that represents an important future area of development.
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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is currently relaunching All World Dance. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.