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Curalate, the social marketing startup that snatched success from the jaws of disaster, adds Tumblr

There can’t be many account man­agers work­ing in online adver­tis­ing agen­cies these days who could fail to ignore the impor­tance of social media as a major chan­nel for suc­cess­ful cam­paigns; but one of the most suc­cess­ful social media mar­ket­ing star­tups to have emerged over the last cou­ple of years, Philadel­phia-based Curalate, almost didn’t happen.

Suc­cess from disaster

Curalate rose from the ash­es of an ear­li­er project its co-founder Apu Gup­ta had had high hopes for. He’d seen the suc­cess of the emerg­ing “shar­ing econ­o­my” (i.e., firms that rent their tech­nol­o­gy or stor­age) and thought he could come up with a viable option. So he raised a tidy $750,000 to launch his first brain­child, Stor­ably, a web­site let­ting peo­ple rent out their excess park­ing inven­to­ry or storage.

Sad­ly, it bombed and Gup­ta real­ized it he had to shut it down, even offer­ing to return all the mon­ey to his investors. But they appre­ci­at­ed the care he was tak­ing with their cash and invit­ed him to come up with anoth­er start­up idea, where­upon he and Storably’s CTO, Nick Shif­tan, spent a month brain­storm­ing new ideas. After a lot of test­ing, num­ber 63 on their list came out as the most viable. Curalate was born in Decem­ber 2011 when Insta­gram and Pin­ter­est were explod­ing in popularity.

Image recog­ni­tion

For any account man­agers out there who haven’t heard if it, Curalate’s image recog­ni­tion algo­rithms ana­lyze posts to find which prod­ucts are being shared and talked about. It then sends the data to the brands. Brands can use Curalate to respond direct­ly to users when they post prod­uct pic­tures and to link to cus­tomer images.

Hav­ing just added Tum­blr sup­port to its plat­form, Curalate now pro­vides mar­ket­ing and ana­lyt­ics tools across the visu­al web seg­ment of the social media world, embrac­ing Insta­gram, Pin­ter­est, Tum­blr and Facebook.

The addi­tion of Tum­blr, says Gup­ta, makes a lot of sense because so many prod­uct images are post­ed there – and they often don’t come accom­pa­nied by text (which is where the startup’s image recog­ni­tion wiz­ardry comes into its own).

Gup­ta thinks brands that feel they don’t need to be on Tum­blr because they haven’t got a blog of their own on there are mak­ing a big mis­take. As he puts it:

“If your con­sumer is on Tum­blr, then your brand is on Tumblr.”

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