On Friday's World Emoji Day, Tumblr signed a new analytics deal that cements the rise of the visual web.
Software firm Crimson Hexagon has been granted access to Tumblr’s "firehose," giving it real-time data from the site’s 24.5 million blogs.
The deal gives brands a live view on standard information such as popular topics on Tumblr, brand mentions and brand sentiment.
More interestingly, it will also let them identify the use of their own logos within posts.
Worth a thousand words
Crimson Hexagon is one of a handful of data partners that scan Tumblr and other popular social media sites, such as Instagram, for brand images.
Another preferred data partner, Curalate, uses image analysis to identify a brand’s products and images within social media posts.
A third partner, Ditto, not only scans for logos, but recognizable brand patterns, such as Burberry’s distinctive tartan.
Its founder, David Rose, said he believes the visual web gives brands a much more rounded picture of how a brand’s products are used in the wild, where it sits compared with rivals, and the other brands it may have associations with.
It’s easy to underestimate how fundamental a shift the visual web is. Almost every popular social media service employs the language of
"moments," a term that suggests visual content is throwaway and casual.
That’s emphasised by the fact that services like Snapchat, Instagram and the increasingly visual Facebook use a "feed" mechanism. Once you’ve scrolled past a "moment," it’s gone forever – quite literally, in the case of Snapchat.
But Facebook’s European boss, Nicola Mendelsohn, has warned brands to take the visual web more seriously, as consumers move towards a "hieroglyphics" style of communication. Earlier this year, she revealed that branded Facebook "stickers" for the film "Despicable Me 2" saw 350 million daily shares.
At the time, she said: "That’s 2 billion instances of people using brands to express an emotion in a conversation with a friend.
"Think of this as the next iteration of 'LOL,' where images have replaced words as a way of telegraphing emotions to a private audience."
This article first appeared on marketingmagazine.co.uk.