Facebook and Instagram may sell your photos and posts to brands

Facebook may soon intercept brand names inside photos posted by users. Here's how it will use these materials

Could Facebook and Instagram be selling users' photos to brands? According to some rumors, Mark Zuckerberg's social network has acquired a patent developed precisely with that intent. In the document there are several references to the strategy according to which the system could also sponsor images posted by members.

If the patent were to materialize, Facebook and Instagram would begin to recognize names and logos of brands within images posted in private profiles. This feature could be very useful in increasing user engagement with advertising campaigns. Facebook and Instagram are on the lookout for technology that can intercept and tag any writing that pertains to brands around the world and thus create unprecedented personalized campaigns. The company could benefit enormously from the development of such a technology.

Facebook: why private photos could be used for advertising campaigns

Facebook is moving to recognize any logos and brand names present in photographs shared on the social network. These references, once tagged, could be used to create advertisements targeted at specific users and therefore potentially more effective.

Once a brand tag has been added to a photo, this information could be used by both the social network and the brand itself to advertise that particular product to a specific target audience.

What will happen to such a photo? The branded content could even be used to create a so-called "Sponsored Story". The patent states that Facebook is already planning to give more visibility to this content than to unbranded content: users will see it more often in their newsfeed. In other words, using personal (and branded) photographs instead of simple sponsorships, Facebook could get more results from its sponsorships.

But the images posted by users could do much more, for example allow to understand the level of penetration of a product within a geographical area or in a specific target or understand if it is more attractive to men and women, for a specific age group and so on.

The result of this work of analysis and mapping of brands within Facebook, but also Instagram, would help the system to build a real "Heat Map" of the companies present on the platform.

What if Facebook manages to create an archive of branded images?

Facebook could create a very large database of material from which to draw inspiration to create sponsorships based on the interests of users. With the development of increasingly sophisticated software, reading the images and picking up any logos and brand names could be much easier.

The patent communicates one more interesting piece of information: only a person's contacts will be able to access a particular piece of sponsored content. Facebook will likely start a recruitment drive: users who publish posts that contain brands could be paid to sponsor those images. The payment would depend on the impressions and engagement produced by the image.

Although, the sponsorship strategy and related management is quite detailed, for the moment there are not too many details about the technology used to intercept and tag brands in images. Facebook already uses an internal system to scan the text inside images, which is called Rosetta. This tool is used to lead the battle against so-called "hate speech" and other types of content that might convey hate and prejudice.