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Visual analytics company Piqora is adding Tumblr and Instagram to its analytics platform, expanding beyond its Pinterest-based roots.  In doing so, Piqora says its the first company to track images, hashtags and audience analysis from the big three visual networks.

“We are evolving to become the marketing suite for visual interest based networks and we think the three big interest based networks are Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr,” said Sharad Verma, CEO of Piqora.

Piqora is one of a handful of companies that are expanding beyond Pinterest to capitalize on analyzing the massive amounts of visual data that’s available through networks like Instagram, in order to help brands learn what users interests are online.  While Pinterest is the third largest e-commerce centric social network with over 10 billion pins, Instagram is quickly getting bigger with over 130 million active users and over 16 billion photos uploaded as over June 2013.  Tumblr, also image-heavy, is the largest interest-based network boasting more than 225 million global unique users.

As networks become even more visual, like Vine’s recent popularity on Twitter, the need for brands to understand what their customers are looking at and sharing is becoming even more vital.  Corporations including Sephora, Zappos and Steve Madden are just a handful of the brand’s using Piqora’s technology.

“The new visual networks are fundamentally different from other networks like Facebook” Verma said.  “Facebook is fundamentally a relationship-based network, if you look at Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr, the common aspects around those are interest graphs, consumers are on it not just looking for friends, but also looking for content and interests.”

Brands used to be able to search a Twitter hashtag or their Facebook page to see what consumers were saying about the company or its products, but as the Internet has become more visual, it is getting more difficult for brands to track what is being said about them.  Piqora’s new platform, which is currently in Beta, is able to track trending images, keywords, hashtags and influencers on the three big visual networks for a brand.  Piqora’s first foray into its new platform is through campaigns and hashtag campaign tracking.

“On the promotion side, a brand can come in and set up a hashtag before its campaign and they can track it in a dashboard, they can also track any of the branded hashtags,” Verma said.  “We can also aggregate all the comments included in a feed that allows brand managers to monitor comments and captions for their brand viewers.”

Sharad gave me a demo of the platform and its quite robust.  From the dashboard, you can search any hashtag over any set period of time across any of the networks.  Sharad typed in the hashtag “#fashion” for Tumblr and instantly saw that 6,307 users had posted something about fashion that day and it also showed posts, reposts, photos and comments.  This type of information is not only helpful for brands to know what people are saying about them, but also to translate that information into sales.

“Brands want to know how to convert this audience into customers,” Verma said.  “It helps brands identify their community, engage their community, understand the tastes and intent of their audience, which informs what type of advertising campaign they want to run.”

If brands can use this information in the right way, they may be able to turn visual data into big bucks.

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