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Tumblr Will Start Scanning All Your Photos

It wants to know what your favourite brands are

Molly Holt
Tumblr Will Start Scanning All Your Photos© 2018 Zhao - Flickr

When Yahoo spent $1.1 billion on Tumblr last year, most of us wondered why on earth they were investing so much money in cat GIFS and ‘philosophical quotes’. But little did we know, Yahoo had a secret plan up its sleeve… This week, the company signed a deal with analytics firm Ditto Labs, who will analyse brand affiliation in the 130 million photos that are posted per day and sell their information on to the ever-needy consumer companies.

Although a few famous brands like Cadillac, Coke and Kraft have already made use of Ditto’s services, now all of Tumblr’s images will be made available to the analytics firm as part of a “firehouse partnership”. This means that the two companies aren’t officially moving in together, but Ditto will have a key to Tumblr’s flat. Ditto is able to access and analyse Tumblr’s picture content, and can then sell this information on to companies that want to know how the world feels about them. Yep, it’s basically the professional equivalent of reading through your partner’s text messages. But it’s okay, Tumblr promises that at the moment there will be no repercussions. “Right now, we’re not planning to do anything ad-related”, so you won’t be bombarded with ads from that oreo-eating selfie just yet. Phew.

The partnership marks the first ever major online entity to try analyze visual content for data, although many other sites are certainly bringing some strong competition. While Google has bought Jetpac to provide statistics based on visual data, Pinterest bought VisualGraph and Facebook acquired Vicarious.Still no word on what Facebook plans to do with that $19 billion Whatsapp deal though…


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