Twitter Buys Image Search Company Madbits


Twitter hasn’t traditionally been known for their image capabilities. However, that may be about to change as image search company Madbits earlier this week announced via their website that they were joining Twitter.

Within the posting, Madbits co-founders Clement Farabet and Louis-Alexandre Etezad-Heydari shared the following insight:

“Over this past year, we’ve built visual intelligence technology that automatically understands, organizes and extracts relevant information from raw media. Understanding the content of an image, whether or not there are tags associated with that image, is a complex challenge. We developed our technology based on deep learning, an approach to statistical machine learning that involves stacking simple projections to form powerful hierarchical models of a signal.

We prototyped and tested about ten different applications, and as we’ve prepared to launch publicly, we’ve decided to bring the technology to Twitter, a company that shares our ambitions and vision and will help us scale this technology.”

Madbits had taken to their LinkedIn page to share that they are “primarily interested in the task of image search, and the creation of intelligent, dynamic image sets, to automatically organize large databases of images,” according to TechCrunch.

It appears that Twitter has been slowly adding image features to their arsenal. These capabilities include:

  • People-tagging
  • Multiple photos per tweet
  • Animated GIFs

GigaOm, which broke the news, had this to say about the potential future implications:

It’s not at all surprising that Twitter would want to acquire the company, given the tremendous amount of images published on Twitter every day. If Twitter wants to roll out functions such as image search, improve its search rankings based on image content, or perhaps even analyze images to get a better sense of what people are tweeting about, it will need people who understand how to do it.

Would you like to see Twitter add image search? How do you think this might affect the way marketers utilize images on the platform to reach consumers? Tell us in the comments.

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