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This article was published on June 14, 2011

    Just launched: Bre.ad, a personalized digital billboard tool

    Just launched: Bre.ad, a personalized digital billboard tool
    Courtney Boyd Myers
    Story by

    Courtney Boyd Myers

    Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of audience.io, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups gr Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of audience.io, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups grow internationally. Previously, she was the Features Editor and East Coast Editor of TNW covering New York City startups and digital innovation. She loves magnets + reading on a Kindle. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter @CBM and .

    Just as Twitter answered a simple question, ‘What are you doing?’ the founders behind Bre.ad want to help you answer the question ‘What do you recommend?’ Just like Twitter has lowered the barrier to blogging, Bre.ad makes promoting your favorite brands and interests simple, effective and available for free to anyone.

    The company originally showcased its digital billboard tool at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt. Today, Bre.ad has officially launched, allowing users to create a personalized banner advert to promote their personal brands and interests. Bre.ad users in the private beta shared a Bre.ad link every 10 to 15 minutes on Twitter. Early adopters included entrepreneurs, philanthropists, musicians, celebrities and bloggers such as Houston Herald and 50 Cent.

    There are three terms you’ll need to know in order to use bre.ad, which are bre.ad, toast and follow. To “bre.ad” a link is to shorten and share a link with your audience. To “toast” is to create a digital billboard by making a personalized recommendation for a cause or brand. And to follow someone is to subscribe to their Toasts and Bre.ad links on the site.

    Here’s How it Works:

    Step 1: Signing up is easy with Facebook Connect. Login to http://bre.ad/ and choose from popular brands or create your personal billboard by uploading an image and writing a customized message. Bre.ad turns your image and message into a full-page banner for you, maximizing your billboard’s effectiveness.

    Step 2: Shorten any link you want to share using Bre.ad as your link shortener. You can do this either on the website or by typing “bre.ad/” in front of the URL you want to shorten e.g. bre.ad/http://www.anylink.com.

    Your followers will see your billboard for five seconds when they click on links you create using the Bre.ad link shortener.

    Step 3: Share your Bre.ad links on social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter.

    This app seems great for brands and marketers, but for users and their friends? I’m not so sure. In summation, it allows anyone to be as annoying as an advertiser on the Internet, creating brand evangelists who have a pretty high risk of wasting the time of their busy friends. In the end, it seems like Bre.ad has successfully created more noise on your social network. Watch this video for more on Bre.ad.

    http://vimeo.com/23834665