Tumblr teams up with Ditto to turn your photos into a marketing data goldmine

Tumblr Starbucks Millenial hipster

Once a place for posting erotic black and white images (or as some would call it, “hipster porn”), Tumblr will soon find itself a haven for multinational corporations looking to find new ways of marketing their goods. Tumblr recently inked a deal with Ditto, a company who specializes in the scanning of photos for brand images — everything from the Nike “swoosh,” to the logos like Coca-Cola, and more — selling that information back to those corporations. The deal will give Ditto “wholesale access” to Tumblr’s vast repository of user generated content (read: photos). All those images of girls sharing their Starbucks drinks? Ditto certainly has plenty to work with.

In a statement to Motherboard, Ditto CEO David Rose said:

“Twitter and Instagram have been suppliers of data to us for over a year and we’re able to look on behalf of brands at what the conversation about them looks like through photos. What’s different about Tumblr is that they’re supplying us with the entire firehose of all photos that we’re then able to interpret.”

Ditto’s unique image identifying algorithm doesn’t just identify brands, but even the expression of faces in photos to indicate the general feelings towards a specific brand. And although Ditto says they don’t identify individual people, they can pinpoint top “influencers” on any given social network, handing off this information to corporations looking to team up with these influencers for promotional campaigns (see the spammy sh*t show Vine has turned into in recent months).

While Ditto and Tumblr’s new agreement isn’t likely to raise any privacy concerns, if the Instagram fiasco of 2013 has taught us anything, it’s that the internet has some major trust issues. Tumblr and Ditto wouldn’t comment on if this was a money-changing-hands kinda deal, or if users would be notified of how Tumblr is planning on using these photos. User data is a lucrative business. We’ve all seen what Google and Facebook has done with it. Now it seems Tumblr — and parent company Yahoo — are looking to cash in on photos and the unspoken data therein.

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  • Tyler Fox

    Hope this doesn’t back fire for them like it did Instagram, people are already having trust issues with their sites selling information about us, does tumblr not realize that TONS if I Internet activists and hacktavists use their site for the cause, I think tumblr is about to see a MAJOR drop in their users once this gets out.

    • DurteeDee

      Tumblr… Hacktivists lol no.

      • ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

        Agree with Jerel. If you mean radicalist feminists that whine about everything opressing them and how much they hate men then sure you got “hacktivists”.

        • Tyler Fox

          You both obviously don’t use tumblr that much because I’ve been using it for years and I’ve seen countless hacktavists blogs

          • DurteeDee

            Obviously not, I was more of a 4chan user anyway… Pretty sure they are responsible for more hacktivity, tumblr is like its whiny little sister..full of social justice warriors ..who whine about who is more a victim. Hugbox communities that are strict one their doctrine. Trigger warnings, reblogs of terrible shipping, fandom’s of tons of things. Hacktivism isn’t what I associated with tumblr, unless you mean failed dox and ddos attacks yeah they do internet pranks like every other online community.

          • ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

            I’ve used tumblr many times for long periods of time in the past. But as Jerel said, 4chan is a lot better. I’ll stick to that thanks.

  • Ivan Padilla

    Those tattoos though.

    • Daniel

      What does the fox say?

  • William D.

    And here’s a great example of why I watermark anything not on my own website! :D