With every site looking more and more like Pinterest, brands are getting savvy about making their ads more visual, or going a step further to incorporate branding within existing images themselves. Referred to as in-image ads, a number of providers from Stipple to GumGum are allowing advertisers incorporate overlays and interactivity across set imagery on publishers sites. While this works by enabling a defined set of images, recognition technology will let brands correctly identify brand imagery on user generated photos at scale. They don’t have rights for those images of course…at least not yet.
Check out the IAB’s recently released Primer for more information.
In an effort to expand its multimedia capabilities, Twitter is testing an automatic, in-stream image preview. Currently Twitter.com supports two-step in-stream previews, which means that some photos can be displayed in a user’s timeline after the user clicks anywhere inside the tweet. Some users have even reported noticing in-stream previews without the need to click. What this means for sponsored images or posts remains to be seen, but keep an eye out for this important new feature that looks to be rolling out soon.
Expedia has figured out a clever way to engage their community around the photos they take when travelling the globe. As part of the “Find Yours” campaign, Expedia has developed a Facebook app that leverages Facebook and Instagram images in addition to Google Maps, music and other filters to tell the story of their travels. These travel albums are easily shareable via Twitter and Facebook and engage people around the moments they create.
If you’re wondering who’s posting pictures of your brand on Instagram, check out Gazemetrix. The startup from UberLabs uses image recognition technology to track your brand presence and provide extensive analytics. You can compare your performance with competitors over time and across geographies and see your most popular photos. According to the company’s initial research, Starbucks leads all brands in volume of logos displayed, with Coca Cola and BMW also leading the charge.