Thing 4: Communicating Visually

Good social media content is all about telling a story and the best stories are told using a combination of imagery and text that elicits some kind of emotion, be it a topical humorous meme or a touching photo montage of a rescued puppy.

However, with news feeds that are saturated with videos, memes and giphs, the playing field has become very competitive. In order to get your library patrons to pause, even for a second to view your content, you need something unique and professional looking.

You might be thinking 'who has the time to spend putting these stories together'? You are already doing five million other things that the multi-tasking information professional ends up doing.

In Thing 4 we’re going to look at a few mobile apps that might help. These apps are focused on creating visual content for the purpose of sharing on social media. You can have a bit of fun with these apps, while also creating something that might just stop someone in their scrolling tracks to wonder ‘how did they do that?' You will need a mobile phone to access these two apps. If you don't have one yourself maybe you can enlist the help of a colleague or student and share the fun.

"Check out our new Mobile Library Service"


Simple steps on how to use PhotoFunia

PhotoFunia describes itself as “Fun, fantastic with a little pinch of outrageous...” If you are looking for an image to add a little humour to your newsfeed then PhotoFunia might be the app for you.

PhotoFunia has a bank of images that are regularly updated. The images range from photos of people into which you can insert your own or someone else's face to images into which you can put text or logos of your choice.

A fun way to welcome incoming students for the new academic year.

Not all the images in photo funia might be to your taste but there are a few gems, and used in right context can look very convincing.
PhotoFunia is useful if you want to create a catchy poster for your library, or if you want to have a bit of fun online with your advertising. Here are some examples that we put together using the PhotoFunia app and a bit of imagination.

A new library programme perhaps?

Once you've created an image you can share it directly to a social media feed or download it for later use.


Quik is a free video editing app created by the makers of Go Pro, available to download from both the Google Playstore and Apple Store. Quik allows you to effortlessly make slick professional videos that you can share to your social media channels or download for later use. 

Click on the numbered images below to enlarge. These will bring you through the steps on how to use Quik. These examples are taken from a video I created to promote workshops held in our library and were created using an android phone. The steps may vary on an apple device. 

Steps 1 - 4: Getting started with Quik

Editing with Quik

Once you've selected which photos to use and chosen your theme, tap on the pen icon as each image appears to bring up editing options such as adding text, altering the focus, adding more images or removing images.
Editing your photos. Tap on the pen icon as
the video is playing to edit each photo.

Adding some extra touches

The three icons across the bottom of the screen allow to you edit the theme, change or remove the music and edit the duration of the photos, add filters and change the format of the video. The third icon at the bottom of the screen has a few extra editing features. Swipe right, to the last feature in this list, called 'outro on/off'. This allows you to get rid of the quik watermark; a feature I always appreciate in a free app.

Once you've finished creating you can share it
straight away or download for later use.

Finishing up

Quik will allow you to share you video to most social media platforms direct from the app. You can also download your video to upload to other sites that are not on the list within the app, or play on a screen in your library for example.

Not a fan of Quik? 

Try Ripl. Like Quik, it's a free video app that allows you to creatively stitch together images with words and music to create a catchy video.

Advantages to Ripl

  • It's possibly a bit more user-friendly than Quik.
  • It has a few more choices of music and LOTs more choices for fonts.
  • It allows you to add a hyperlink to your video.

Disadvantages to Ripl

  • You can't get rid of the Ripl watermark.
  • The transitions aren't as nice as Quik.
  • The text remains on all the photos for the duration of the video, you can't add different text to each image.
  • Remember that hyperlink? - it's a ripl customised link rather than your own web address. The link still brings you to your desired destination (your library website for example) but it changes the URL to contain the word Ripl; people will be less inclined to click on a link they don't recognise or has no association with your library website.

Your task for Thing 4 is:

Download one of the apps mentioned in this blog post and create something visual. Play around with the settings. Share your image to a social media platform of your choice, using the #rudai23 and #thing4 hashtags, or upload them to your blog.

Remember, you will be asked to write a reflective blog-post on your experiences of this Thing so it might be worth taking a few notes as you work through the task.

Please comment on this blog post to let us know how you get on, or email us if you have further questions.

Thing 4 was written collaboratively by Michelle Breen and Niamh O'Donovan


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