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Marketing

Published July 5th 2019

The Top 8 Image Recognition Tools

We've put together a list of the best image recognition and detection tools for brands and agencies on social media. Let us help you decide.

Brands need image detection to work out where their customers, prospects, critics, and fans see them. Without these images, a brand is simply blind to the torrent of threats and opportunities directed at them each day.

Once you have these images you can undertake analysis, better understand your brand, know your customers and improve your marketing strategy.

If you are an image recognition rookie, this post will come in handy. When looking for a tool, it’s a good idea to try a couple of them and choose the one that suits your needs best.

How to choose an image recognition tool

To start off, here’s six key questions to ask yourself before choosing an image recognition tool. They all have strengths and weaknesses, so this will help you work out exactly what you need.

1. Can you search for any logo?

Flexibility and choice is clearly important. Some services will have a limited number of logos that you can search for, while others will allow you to choose which ever one you like (including logo variations).

2. Can you find small parts of a logo?

Often logos can be obscured or tiny in pictures. Find out if the tool you’re looking at can handle these situations without failing to detect your logo.

3. How long does it take to add a new logo?

Some services can take a long time to detect a logo (five weeks in some cases!). Speed is important, especially for real-time conversation tracking.

Other tools can track your logo as a quickly as a few hours or a few days at most (such as our Image Insights offering).

4. What is the false-positive rate?

A false-positive is when a logo is incorrectly detected in an image, such as a tool thinking a logo is present when it isn’t.

Be sure to investigate this when choosing your tool as false-positive rates will vary from technology to technology.

5. Can you compare topics of a conversation between image vs text mentions?

Being able to compare and contrast data from bother image and text mentions in one place is important. It means you can get the whole picture, while seeing how the two types differ.

6. Does the tool allow you to search for logos without using keywords?

Some platforms can only identify image mentions in relation to specific keywords provided by the user. This means you’ll miss a lot of mentions.

This is why you need to invest in a platform that gives you complete access to the mentions of your logo and those of your competitors, even when there is no text attached.

The Top Image Recognition Tools

1. Google Image Recognition

Google is renowned for creating the best search tools available. It added weight to that claim in 2014, when it launched its image recognition search. The tool scours the web for images that appear similar to the one you have uploaded.

This free tool provides excellent coverage and is easy to use, but lacks any real analytics to make sense of the results.

2. Brandwatch Image Insights

It wouldn’t be right to include a list of top image recognition tools and not include the fantastic solution developed by our in-house engineering team.

Over the last 18 months, they’ve built a world-leading tool that’s optimized for brands and agencies. After independently benchmarking the technology, they found it to be:

  • 2x more accurate than the nearest competitor
  • 10x more coverage than the nearest competitor
  • The only tool which can track any brand logo

2. Amazon Rekognition

Rekognition is an image recognition service from Amazon. With Rekognition, you can detect objects, scenes, and faces in images. You can also search and compare faces.

Amazon Rekognition is based on the same deep learning technology developed by Amazon’s computer vision scientists to analyze billions of images daily for Prime Photos.

It uses deep neural network models to detect and label thousands of objects and scenes in your images. However, it can only analyze the images you provide, meaning if you wanted to search for the Nike logo, you would first have to feed it with thousands of Nike related images.

4. Clarifai

Clarifai is one of the most accurate out-of-the-box image recognition APIs. It can tag, organize, and understand images and video using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Clarifai offers a free API which lets users plug in any image data they have to check out how powerful the tool is.

5. Google Vision AI

Here’s another Google offering which goes much further than their reverse image search. There’s a couple of options here including training your own custom image models, or using a pre-trained one that Google supplies.

From there you can plug in your image sources and Vision will analyze them and tell you what they’re all about. It can be used for anything from quality inspection to product searches.

You can try out the tool for free, just like we’ve done with a picture of a cat below.

6. GumGum

GumGum, the folks who pioneered in-image advertising, have developed a new image detection tool to find photos on the web that are relevant to your brand. This technology can ingest and analyze social media data itself, meaning you don’t have to collect the data first.

Although the technology looks fantastic, the tool is still fairly new to the market and is yet to truly take off.

7. LogoGrab

Developed by ex-Google employees, LogoGrab realized that brands need to catch up with the ‘visual age’. They have built state of the art image detection technology that allows brands to find images that contain their own logo. The technology is powerful enough to find parts of a logo and even discover logo misuse.

Brandwatch and LogoGrab have partnered recently to develop a platform perfect for social, but their own proprietary technology is world-leading for image and video discovery.

8. IBM Image Detection

IBM’s image detection technology helps brands understand the contents of images. For example, it can recognize food, find human faces, approximate age, gender, and find similar images in a collection.

Sounds great right? Brands can also train the tech by creating bespoke detection to find a dress type in retail, identify spoiled fruit in inventory, and more.

The technology is undeniably powerful and offers solutions to a number of use cases.

It’s pretty clear that the image recognition space is a crowded one.

New startups are popping up almost every month with a new interesting development. Our suggestion is to try out as many tools as you can before making a large investment. The right tool is out there, you just have to find it.

If you are interested in seeing what Brandwatch Image Insights can offer, the please get in touch by booking a demo.

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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.