Visual marketing service Chute has created a suite of tools developed for the enterprise to help brands harness user-generated content for their social campaigns. Included in this offering are a rather robust media search engine, image recognition technology (dubbed “IRIS”), new analytic charts, and a way to schedule and distribute content on a brand’s social media accounts.
Since its founding in 2011, this Y Combinator portfolio startup has sought to empower brands to better leverage all the content that’s being posted on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social networks. As I wrote previously, the goal is to enable better storytelling that isn’t promotional — if you want to get your message across, why not leverage the power of your fans and customers?
Ranvir Gujral, Chute’s chief executive, told VentureBeat that, historically, there has been a wide net of tools available to customers, but there hasn’t been an all-in-one option to get in-depth analytics, rights management, and publishing. Today’s announcement is billed as consolidating all the user-generated content marketing efforts under one platform.
Chute’s visual search engine enables marketers to access real-time insights about not only content, but who’s posting, trends, topics, and more. Brand and community managers, social media marketers, and others can run a query to pull up relevant content. Afterwards, the results can be further filtered by multiple keywords, users, visual cues like logos, objects, scenes, etc.
The results are also sortable based on what content is trending (determined by what’s going on in a photo and its value) and the content’s popularity (number of likes) — “based on how an individual post is performing relative to the expectation of that post”. One intention is to help guide marketers to discover not only effective content, but influencers as well.
But say you’re looking for social media content that features either your brand or a subsidiary identity — how are you going to query that? Chute has developed IRIS, an intelligent image recognition tool that’ll scour through social media to find specific images featuring a particular object or item. But this feature isn’t available through Chute’s search engine — Gujral says that brands have to submit an image to his team and allow a week for the software to learn what it needs to run the query. During this time, Chute’s data science team will feed IRIS with not only that brand-provided image, but also different variations to account for all variables.
While logos are the logical use case for IRIS, Gujral told us that travel is Chute’s fastest growing vertical. What this means is that if the San Francisco tourism bureau wanted to look for all social media posts featuring the Golden Gate Bridge, it would provide a photo of this tourist landmark to Chute. Within a week, the system could be trained to provide media featuring the bridge. This is in addition to looking at tags on photos.
Now that you’ve found the media you’re looking for, what can you do with it? Chute hopes you’ll engage with the content creator through its Rights offering. Once you’ve received permission, the process can move forward in one of two ways: either by publishing through an ad network via Chute Ads, or on a brand’s social media accounts through Chute Social.
Instead of requiring users to download content onto a desktop and then publishing via Hootsuite, TweetDeck, or the like, Chute lets marketers schedule posts right from this interface. Rights-cleared content isn’t the only thing that can be published through this tool; brands can share their own original work as well. There’s even a text option to augment or even replace the visual.
With all of these features, Chute Social is almost akin to Hootsuite and TweetDeck, though, of course, integrated into Chute’s offering. This begs the question — Does the world need another enterprise social media management client?
Of course, new insights are also provided, adding to those that were previously unveiled in February. In addition to analytics that help marketers navigate the visual minefield, there are others focused on display performance and social. While they are not centralized, this kind of analysis is in the product roadmap, according to Gujral. The reason these features are siloed is because different team members in the marketing organization may have different access — one person isn’t going to manage it all anymore, especially within an enterprise firm.
Overall, Chute’s evolution over the past four-plus years seems to have led up to this moment. Yes, many of its product launches have seemed ad hoc, but combined, these services form a suite of products that brands will find useful.
Even Gujral admits that today’s enterprise announcement is a big bet, saying “If we’re right, we think [the market] is huge. If we’re wrong, we’re wrong.” He wants, in his words, to make Chute the “Google Images for social for all the content that Google doesn’t have access to.”