The behemoth that is digital advertising will be a $83 billion industry this year in the U.S. alone, with search giants Google and Facebook controlling a whopping 60 percent of this market. In the world of social media advertising, reach is power and content is king.
Today, three AL-based Slovakians launched the Likely AI app as a means for digital advertisers and social media influencers to determine which images will most resonate with an audience. The iOS app (Android version to be launched in two to three weeks) is powered by an AI algorithm that predicts the popularity, success and engagement of pictures on social media.
Likely AI co-founder Lukas Ruttkay says that creating the app required downloading “a few million photos.” The LikelyAI algorithm detects multiple data points within each picture such as objects, shapes, color patches, lighting and positioning. The artificial neural network, trained on these millions of images, then conducts “deep image analysis” to estimate the potential popularity from the collected data.
The technology’s target audience is a new category of marketers — social media influencers, especially those on visual-heavy social platform Instagram.
“Likely AI can predict the popularity of images on Instagram before an image is posted. When you have ten pictures, you wish to be sure to post the one captivating the highest attention of your followers,” says Ruttkay. “Ultimately, users will benefit from a more engaged audience and higher number of followers.”
Co-founder Jozef Marko, a data scientist who spent time at Facebook and Google, explains that the project was initially created in 2016 in Ukraine and was awarded the Best B2C Startup of Lviv IT Arena, the biggest IT event in Eastern Europe.
While there are other social content testing players, like A/B testing platform Naytev, offering solutions for increasing engagement, Ruttkay is quick to point out that they don’t target Instagram specifically and also cost significantly more. Even influencers with less than 1,000 followers can download and obtain 100 free image analyses per month.
“We believe that in the 21st century, asking colleagues or friends should not be the only solution to choose the perfect picture. Everybody, whether a business or an individual cares about whether their image will be popular, shared, and liked,” says Marko.
The Likely AI founding team moved from Slovakia to Birmingham, AL after being accepted into Velocity, Birmingham’s first seed accelerator program. Ruttkay founded and sold an online streaming startup before joining the Likely AI founding team.
Kathleen Hamrick is an Alabama native serving as Innovation Depot’s Director of Marketing & Education, where she has played an integral role in the implementation of for-credit experiential programs for students with interest in entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology. In her spare time, Hamrick is a Books Running sponsored ultramarathoner, occasionally flies single-engine prop planes at the Birmingham Flight Center, and frequently dreams of building a kit plane: Cessna 162. She serves as Hype’s Birmingham-based correspondent.