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Curalate offers visual analytics for marketers looking for metrics on popular sharing platforms like Pinterest. 

The startup recently announced Instagram reporting which makes it the first analytics provider to give metrics for Instagram and Pinterest within the same dashboard. 

We spoke with Curalate to find out what has been making them tick.

In one sentence, what is Curalate?

Curalate is the only platform applying image recognition algorithms to social media conversations, helping brands turn social interactions (follows, shares, pins, and likes) into relationships and revenue.

What problem(s) does Curalate solve?

The landscape of social has changed dramatically. What used to be driven by text is now driven by visuals, as consumers are increasingly communicating with brands using images, not words. On sites like Pinterest, only about 11% of shares include descriptions that reference brands' names.

Since traditional social media analytics tools rely on keyword tracking, this means that brands are ignoring nearly 90% of conversations about their images and products.

Utilizing patent pending image matching technology, Curalate is the first platform to solve this problem, surfacing engagement with brands' images, even if they aren't explicitly mentioned in the conversation.

This proprietary layer of data has built a foundation for a suite of tools within Curalate that enable brands to measure and grow their audiences on new visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.

What are your immediate goals?

Our immediate goal is to provide marketers with tools and knowledge that enable them to build more meaningful relationships with their fans and consumers.

While we initially focused on fostering this engagement in social, our brands have started taking the insights extracted from Curalate to inform business-wide decisions in advertising, ecommerce, and email. We're really excited about this.

What were the biggest challenges involved in building Curalate?

One of the biggest challenges we face as a company is keeping a delicate balance between building products brands think they want and building products we think brands will need. Since this space is relatively new, there's plenty of room for innovation and an array of opportunities- staying focused and zeroing in on the opportunities that will actually move the needle is a constant challenge.

How will the company make money?

Curalate operates on a SAAS model, driving revenue with an annual subscription that includes full access to our suite. We've also found that, as thought leaders in this space, brands value our knowledge. As a result, we now have service offerings and provide strategy for brands across various industries.

Who is in your team?

In the past year, Curalate has grown from 3 full-time employees to 16, and we couldn't be happier with the team that we've assembled. With a combination of startup veterans, social media savants, pixel pushers, and big-data bosses, we're really building something special. The size of our team is expected to double over the next 10 - 12 months.

Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?

For Curalate, it's always been about the images, not the platforms. Pinterest and Instagram are just the starting point, but all social platforms are experiencing a major shift towards imagery- even Facebook's new timeline and news feed demonstrate this change.

With that said, our end goal is to be the platform where brands go to understand how consumers are engaging with their content across all of social. Social, meets big data, meets image recognition- that's what the visual web requires, and that's what we're building.

Other than Curalate, what are your favorite websites/apps/tools?

We get excited about companies that help brands and consumers engage in a more meaningful way. Platforms like Percolate allow brands to generate timely, relevant content at scale, creating a better experience for consumers on social.

There's also Sailthru, which enables the delivery of individualized experiences to consumers in real-time through email and ecommerce. Finally, tools like Chute and Glossi offer unique ways to feature content.

Ryan Sommer

Published 11 April, 2013 by Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer is web veteran and recovering expat who contributes to Econsultancy on startups, content marketing and new media. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or add him to your circles on Google+

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