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Curalate Launches Fanreel, Turning Customers Into Brand Ambassadors

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The next time you snap a picture of yourself wearing those newly purchased, awesome Urban Outfitters jeans, you may end up appearing on the company’s website.  Curalate, a visual analytics and marketing platform, has launched Fanreel, a product that incorporates user-generated images into the e-commerce sites of retailers and brands.

Curalate is best known for tracking and analyzing Pinterest and Instagram data for companies to help them understand how content resonates with customers, but with the launch of Fanreel with partners Urban Outfitters and Rebecca Minkoff, to name a few, Curalate is allowing consumers to be recognized in a more direct way.

“We’ve long recognized that there’s a whole other side to the equation of user-generated content,” Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate said.  ”That’s what FanReel is all about, it’s about capturing all the user generated content that’s being created all over the web and bringing it into a singular onsite experience that both celebrates the fans that generate this content, as well as inspire new consumers to explore that content and ultimately to buy.”

Brands using user-generated content for contests and other marketing efforts is not new.  Many companies use platforms like Instagram and Vine to allow customers to star in the brand’s campaign. However, for many brand marketers, multiple platforms mean multiple logins, and the whole process can get quite cumbersome.  Curlate’s Fanreel hopes to solve that issue by integrating it onto one platform.

“We’re definitely not the only people in the market to make use of user-generated content, but we’re the first people to consolidate it onto one platform,” Gupta said.

With Fanreel, consumer images can be submitted from Facebook, Instagram, mobile phones, and the desktop.  Brands are then able to moderate these photos and automatically associate user-generated photos to product pages on the brand’s ecommerce site, driving users further down the purchase funnel.

“You can actually tie this user-generated content to specific products on your website so rather that content clicking off and taking you back to Instagram– it actually takes you to the pages of the product itself,” Gupta said.

Aside from also providing detailed analytics to brands, Fanreel is also a way that loyal customers can be recognized and appreciated by their favorite brand, even large brands like Urban Outfitters.

“It’s not just about consumers endorsing the brand, it’s really about the brand acknowledging and celebrating the consumer as well,” Gupta said.

Sounds like a win win for brands and consumers…

— Cassie Slane

Cassie Slane is a technology and consumer products expert and appears as an electronics guest on QVC and Philly's Fox 29 Channel. She has been a producer and writer for major media outlets including Bloomberg News, CNBC, and CNN.