In a first, developers at the social media platform Curalate have spent the past six to eight months working with Google engineers to integrate and test its social media technology with the search engine's Shoppable Ads platform.
On Monday the company plans to announce the partnership, but Apu Gupta, Curalate CEO and founder, expects the company will have more than 100 major brands and retailers using the platform within the next three months.
“You’re seeing the rise of large platforms like Facebook and Pinterest trying to compete for the wallet,” he said. “It has become a battleground.”
Gupta said that as search traffic comes to Google asking questions, such as “best gift idea for Mother’s Day,” vendors start to realize there’s an opportunity to create a more relevant answer.
“These top-of-funnel questions are a desire to be inspired,” he said. “They are really trying to bring inspiring content to core questions.”
The content exists, he said, but in silos. Marketers using the content for Pinterest cannot use the same content for search advertisements, for example, without going to a lot of trouble to reuse the images. Most brands do not have an easy way to reuse the content. If marketers want to use it for search, the image must include product information in a tag.
“What if we can make that content shoppable in search?” he asked -- suggesting that the feature could be taken beyond a Shoppable ad experience.
Last week at Google Marketing Live, company executives highlighted a desire to make search visually rich and more shoppable, giving it the means to compete against Amazon, Facebook, and Pinterest.
The Curalate media tag enables brands to identify products in pictures and make them shoppable, similar to the way Facebook users can go onto the social site and tag people to identify them in pictures.
For the first time, Curalate can enable any brand, retailer or agency to use its media-tagging engine to bring tagged images to Google. Curalate’s and Google’s developers worked hand in hand to create a solution that not only enables brands to utilize Google’s newest ad unit, Shoppable Ads on Google Images, but also to prepare their content to eventually take advantage of other experiences Google discussed at Marketing Live.