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May 31, 2016: Your favorite brand has a mixtape for you, a study confirms how effective videos are for engagement, and Pinterest just made Pinning cooler:

Image Search is About to Get…Pinteresting

Pinterest has upped the Pinning game with a handy new image recognition and search function, which enables users to search content within an image. This tool is complementary to the red dot system, an object recognition technology that “detects products such as bags, shoes and skirts from a Pin’s image.”

As Pinterest’s image database and corresponding image recognition technologies expand, so too will the potential exist for advertisers to know the precise time and place where a consumer is considering, looking for, or pursuing a product.

Facebook Goes off the [Live]Rail

Facebook has announced plans to close LiveRail (a video ad tech startup it acquired in 2014) in order to focus more singularly on Audience Network, which is now expanding to enable publishers to target to non-Facebook users on other mobile apps and websites.

As the dominant force in social media and a growing presence in the ad tech industry, Facebook’s expansion of Audience Network looks to some like “a totally walled-garden strategy.” David Skinner (Merkle) commented, “Facebook is leading [the programmatic charge] with people-based advertising, and now it’s building scale.” Cue an uptick in evil empire puns for the foreseeable future.

Spotify’s Sponsored Playlists

Remember all those mixtapes you made in high school for that special someone, hoping they might read between the lines? Brands do too. Spotify is now allowing brands to sponsor its most popular playlists.

They’re called “Sponsored Playlists”. What Spotify does is match a marketer with a playlist that lines up with the marketer’s desired audience or demographic, which they have defined based on the objectives of their campaign. The effectiveness of this type of branding is yet to be determined, but marketers have a few promising numbers to encourage the strategy: for example, Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist is streamed by 40 million users.

Traveling From Host to Host

Is AirBnB the future of travel?

This was the main topic of discussion at the C2 (Commerce + Creativity) Conference over the weekend. Having started in 2008 with a few air mattresses in a single apartment, AirBnB now boasts 2.2 million homes available, with over 90 million users in 34,000 cities. And in a tech world that prizes the notion of “disruption” above all else, it’s safe to say AirBnB has done just that with the travel industry.

Bought off the Press

A new data study confirms that publishers’ Facebook videos are being shared 7 times more than links on average.

This is no overwhelming surprise to any marketer who has been monitoring the recent shift to favor video-content, both by software algorithms and by consumer tendencies. According to the study, the least likely format to be shared was a status update. For more info on the study, check out the Digiday article on it here.