Featured Article: See photo, shop photo
Every day, billions of photos are seen through thousands of portals across the Web, and most of those will include some kind of product. From the shirt he’s wearing, to the bag she’s carrying, to the food they’re sharing, there are brands all over the images we see every day. But let’s say you really like that bag and want one just like it—how would you find it? Sites like PleaseDress.Me have tried to help, offering users different ways to search for their fashion using colors, tags or keywords. But even if you have the most tricked-out of search engines, you’re often stuck finding a product just “sorta like” the one you were looking for.
Enter Stipple, a new startup helping users get more out of photos. Stipple uses metadata to tag each photo with information about products, people and who captured the original photo. Brands can then use the same network to further identify their products and add e-commerce information for each, showing consumers exactly how to buy them. For publishers, the experience is completely passive—one line of code enables all the functionality for any Stipple-tagged photo. In fact, publishers can even copy and paste photos into their sites and the hot-spots still work—Stipple metadata tags are embedded within the photo file itself and the ads can “follow” the photo wherever it goes.
What this means for brands: In-image advertising is a rapidly growing technology, because engagement rates are much higher than in other display media (Stipple says that users mouse over a photo with a hot spot 46% of the time, and of those, users hover over a product spot 12.48% of engagements). Photo agencies are also in favor because the technology can track down a “lost” photo through the metadata tag, and funnel image creators get a cut of advertising revenue. Brands should definitely begin introducing this in their experimental ad media budgets, as it’s an extremely intuitive interface for directing high purchase intent visits towards e-commerce.
Links, News and Notes
Twitter buys an app: Twitter power-user favorite TweetDeck has been acquired by the microblogging service, for a total rumored to be between $40 million and $50 million. Many new Twitter app developers may see this as a signal that if their apps become popular enough, getting bought out by Twitter could be their exit.
The meaning of a modern family: The New York Times recently investigated the effects of hyper-connectedness on family time, quoting from experts on both sides of the issue. The multi-screen living room has become a genuine reality, and an environment marketers must rapidly master.
Facebook Open Graph, one year later: Open Graph is the updated suite of APIs and supporting tools that includes Facebook Connect. The service turned one year old this April, and Mashable explored how marketers have adopted it so far.
How I learned to love the backchannel: A List Apart provided a great explanation of the origins of Donahue, a Web app designed to integrate the common presentation backchannel of Twitter into the conference experience by tying slides shown to tweets sent in the same time period.
So what IS Google’s social strategy? Serial entrepreneur and Hunch co-founder Chris Dixon broke down what he saw as Google’s three strategic choices as it gets serious about social. The growing threat of Facebook will inevitably pressure Google into making one of these choices, and marketers will benefit from seeing this map of the road ahead.
This Week in Social is a new publication from Rockfish that focuses on the latest in digital innovation.