Now here’s a clever idea for forward-looking account managers from online advertising agencies: use cutting-edge image-recognition software to detect how brand logos are being used in social media photos.
Such technology would let companies track when, where and how their brands were featured (“visual mentions”). For any skeptical art directors out there, this technology isn’t just a pipe-dream, it’s up and running, thanks to young startup GazeMetrix.
Move over hashtags – image recognition is here
The firm’s six-person team (half based in Mountain View, half in New Delhi) have dropped the notoriously unreliable hashtag method of detecting what’s featured in social media photos: instead, its unique image-recognition software can literally see what’s in the picture. Hashtags generate a lot of fake leads, capturing phony accounts and fake updates, voluminous spam and other irrelevancies. GazeMetrix dispenses with those problems completely.
Although it’s currently focused on Instagram, plans are afoot to develop functionality for Facebook and Twitter. Brands can not only see how their logos are representing them but contact users to obtain permission for republishing the cutest or coolest images on their own channels.
The idea grew as an offshoot of an earlier invention devised by the startup’s three founders while working for a cloud-computing firm in New Delhi. They’d developed an app capable of letting users install other apps simply by pointing their device at another mobile gadget. But they couldn’t make the idea fly, although in the process they had come up with image-recognition software as a sideline. And that’s when the idea of GazeMetrix was born, back in August this year.
A unique means of brand tracking
The startup follows in the footsteps of another company which has managed to incorporate image-recognition software successfully in its social media analytics: Curalate, whose platform was devised for Pinterest and has generated interest from a wide range of agencies and brands. For the time being, however, Curalate appears to be content to stay with Pinterest only.
28-year-old co-founder Deobrat Singh says that he and his colleagues are using the startup’s U.S, presence to woo potential customers stateside, but the firm already has a Turkish ad agency amongst its clientele that proactively signed up for its services.
GazeMetrix currently has $140,000 in seed funding and is currently tracking 25 brands, including Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Google, Monster Energy, BMW and Corona.