Image mining refers to all techniques and processes used for automated analyses of image content on the Internet for marketing and advertising purposes. Nearly one billion photos are published and shared every day on social media channels and can be potentially used for marketing goals.
Some photo-mining companies search, extract and analyze images published on the Internet to offer actionable data to brands and advertisers. This concerns primarily photos publicly shared on services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
Image mining data are used by brands for studying how their products and competition products are used or shown by social media users and for determining consumer trends.
Image mining can also be used for ad targeting. Individuals identified on photos as using or interacting with a specific product or brand can be later targeted within marketing campaigns.
Image mining specialists gain access to photos on social media platforms through dedicated APIs. The access may be paid or offered by social media channels that want favor advertising spending on their platform. Most often products are identified thanks to the logo or by using form recognition.
Examples of product recognition on social media photos :
Image mining may raise privacy issues as social media users don’t know their snapshots can be scanned for marketing purposes.
A commercial video showing image mining stakes and techniques :