Quick Read: Nearly 2 billion pictures are being uploaded on social media each day. And this is perhaps just the beginning – for the number of uploads and their potential applications in marketing analytics and consumer research. Profiling Ditto – an innovative start up.
Today most people carry ‘pocket cameras’ everywhere they go. And it’s been having interesting consequences.
For starters, it’s conclusively settled that the number of UFO sightings reported have dramatically gone down in the last few years.
Plastic Surgeons are a happier bunch in recent years, unlike the Tour de France cyclists who are getting more pissed off each year with spectators stepping in front of cyclists to take selfies with them as they passed. The business of autographs has become obsolete. Wide angle lenses are getting recast in cringe inducing names like ‘wefie’ and ‘groufie’. And the list goes on.
A good part of these pics get on to social media generating about 1.8 billion uploads each day (source). Selfiecity was a project (previously profiled on BrandedNoise) that investigated selfies uploaded from several cities around the world using a mix of theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods.
One of the findings of this project has been that only about 5% of images uploaded on the social media are actual selfies. What constitutes the other 96% of the images?
(Source: Selfiecity findings)
Now looking at the above finding, one thing could be clear – at least directionally.
Companies that make cars, shoes, food, beverages, clothes, etc could be missing out on a treasure trove of information by not being able to analyse and identify even the most basic patterns (like for e.g., a brand logo) from over a billion pictures being uploaded by users each day, every day.
Ditto – started by David Rose – tries to solve this very problem. With software trained to scan for 2,500 details in each photo, Ditto analyses photos in aggregate and identifies patterns within them (source). At a fundamental level it is a logo detection engine that can be used by brands to:
- Understand how many times a brand is seen over their competitor, aggregated by geography, gender, ethnicity and age
- Discover how their products are used
- Find their influencers
- Uncover brand affinities and
- Measure their social media ROI (as specified on Ditto’s site)
For e.g,. it found that Gatorade wasn’t just consumed during exercise, but by teens during meals.
And as per this report, Ditto found that people put their Chobani yogurt in their car cupholders to eat it on the way to work. It found that beer drinking generally peaks at 11 p.m. but ice cream eating peaks at 1 a.m. It found that people are putting French’s mustard on their broccoli. And thereby has been helping brands like Kraft, Budweiser identify connections that they would never have found on their own.
In fact, you can even access a real time stream of ‘photo firehose‘ that aggregates photos in real time by categories like cars, clothing, cosmetics, food, retailers etc here.
After all, as Seth Godin says in one of his recent posts..
“The essence of a brand with social juice, of one that matters as a label, isn’t how big the logo is. No, what matters is that the buyer thinks the brand is important, and that the logo is a signifier that they’re paying for.”
For such brands, measuring market share is perhaps not the most cutting edge thing that they could with data. Measuring their consumers’ pride and enthusiasm in their products perhaps is.
So the next time we see our feed on social media, scanning it as a newsfeed of digital ethnography is perhaps not a bad idea.
And who knows, we might find some novel use for those tons of pictures getting uploaded each second as we speak.
Bottomline: Nearly 2 billion pictures getting uploaded each day and this is just the beginning. For uploads and their applications for marketing.
(Featured Image: cartoon by Jeff Koterba from the Omaha World-Herald)