Tumblr Adds New Data Partner as Marketers Race to Interpret Social Images

Crimson Hexagon Gathers Information on Brands' Appearances in Photos

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Crimson Hexagon has become the the latest social company to tap Tumblr's firehose of real-time data, reinforcing the growing importance marketers are placing on understanding images, memes and GIFs of the sort that reign there.

Crimson Hexagon, which has been named a "preferred data partner" of Tumblr, joins Adobe Social, Curalate, Spredfast Intelligence and Union Metrics in the small group of companies directly ingesting portions of Tumblr's data stream on a constant basis.

Adobe Social, for instance, uses Tumblr data to measure "social sentiment and emotion of online conversation to inform content strategy," according to an Adobe spokeswoman.

Crimson Hexagon gathers information on instances of brands in text, logos and other forms seen on Tumblr, where blog-style posts are often mere photos with hashtags or animated GIFs repeating ad infinitum. Trending posts on Tumblr recently featured a Vine video of a dog piling into a suitcase, a highly-saturated photo of a volcanic eruption and a photo of a package of crunchy churros with nutella (hashtag: "#nutella").

"There's more being expressed and more being shared in terms of engagement," said Errol Apostolopoulos, senior VP-product for Crimson Hexagon, regarding Tumblr. "The one early way that some of our customers have been using it is specifically around how the brand is being attached to other content and trying to get a handle on [whether] they need to take action on that."

While the use of images, video and emojis on Twitter and Facebook is growing, Tumblr has always been loaded with image-based posts, often including little or no text. More and more, social agencies and analytics firms are attempting to understand how imagery reflects consumer sentiment about brands. Pinterest and Instagram also offer some data for developers, agencies, and analytics platforms.

Although each social platform has its own unique data points, said Mr. Apostolopoulos, it's his company's job "to create some common visualization to be able to think about how this particular topic or affinity is different in each platform."

Mr. Apostolopoulos and Crimson Hexagon declined to describe the volume of Tumblr data that Crimson Hexagon ingests.

Crimson Hexagon has used the Tumblr data for about a dozen brands so far, said Mr. Apostolopoulos. Digital agency VML has also used its Tumblr insights, he said.

Becoming a preferred data partner involves "a rigorous evaluation process" of a company's capabilities, Tumblr said on its website. "We want to be confident that they are accurately representing the data they collect, and providing meaningful information to their customers."

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