Branded user content tools enable users to create something beyond their ability by typically manipulating a photo submitted by the user in an interesting brand-relevant way.
Ideally, the act of creation is simple and interesting to the user and the manipulated photo is interesting to both the user and their audience (assuming they shared the manipulated photo) in a manner that complements the brand.
Examples of branded user content tools include the Walking Dead Dead Yourself app, which turns your selfie into a zombie, and the Turkish Airlines SelfShot app, which inserts your selfie in exotic locations.
Although these branded content tools have demonstrated valuable tool outputs via the significant amount of shares through each, their participation process may be simplified by allowing users to participate without having to download a separate app.
This participation process simplification may be achieved by learning from image manipulation Twitter bots (i.e. automated Twitter accounts that perform a specific function), which only require users to tweet an image to an account to receive a manipulated version of the image.
Currently, the majority of image manipulation Twitter bots produce abstract artsy effects, although their simple participation process structure may still be applied to a brand marketing context.
For example @a_quilt_bot will refashion any received pictures using quilt materials. Depicted below is the image manipulation Twitter bot participation process.
If a similar process were applied to the Walking Dead Dead Yourself app, users could theoretically receive their zombified selfie without having to visit the app store and download the app, which is costly of their time, bandwidth, and device storage.
Branded content bot tools may also complement apps by serving as the introductory low-cost experience which feeds into a more robust app experience. For example, a Walking Dead Dead Yourself bot could provide very simple manipulation effects, which then interests users in downloading the app to access more effects.