With DittoLabs partnership, Tumblr will now let marketers scan photos for brand affinity

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but even then, brands have a hard time figuring out what they mean on Tumblr. In order to help the companies advertising on it, Tumblr is partnering with DittoLabs, a company that scans social media photos for traces of brand affinity. That means images that contain logos, products, slogans or locations directly related to a brand.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, brands searching for images on Tumblr related to them and their products can’t just rely on hashtags or keyword searches. Since Tumblr is a social media platform where text is secondary to photos and GIFs, it becomes difficult to quantify things such as brand sentiment or trending topics when only analyzing images.

Now, Tumblr says brands will have a way to “understand the nature of the conversation” about them. Essentially, this is social media listening done without keywords or text, focusing instead on what the pictures are saying.

DittoLabs now has access to the complete Tumblr firehose of data, in addition to its access to image data on Facebook and Twitter. Check out this real-time display of social media photos it scans for brands here.

It’s conceivable that advertisers could use the new partnership to figure out which users are fans of their products and target them with advertisements. But currently, Tumblr says it isn’t planning to use the partnership to show users ads. “Right now, we’re not planning to do anything ad-related,” says T.R. Newcomb, head of business development at Tumblr speaking to Mashable. For now, the move appears to be more about listening and analyzing for creating an organic presence on the Tumblr platform, rather than pushing messages.

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