Tenor acquired by Google

Making it easier to find and share GIFs with Google

When we started Google Images, we focused on making it easy to find photos and images from across the web. But as the web evolved and mobile devices changed the way people search, the way people use Google Images has changed too. Most people now use Google Images to find more information about a topic, and to help them communicate and express themselves—case in point, we see millions of searches for GIFs every day. We’ve continued to evolve Google Images to meet both of these needs, and today we’re bringing GIFs more closely into the fold by acquiring Tenor, a GIF platform for Android, iOS and desktop.

With their deep library of content, Tenor surfaces the right GIFs in the moment so you can find the one that matches your mood. Tenor will help us do this more effectively in Google Images as well as other products that use GIFs, like Gboard.

Tenor will continue to operate as a separate brand, and we’re looking forward to investing in their technology and relationships with content and API partners. So whether you’re using the Tenor keyboard or one of our other products, you can expect to see much more of this in your future.

AddStructure Acquired by BazaarVoice to Boost Machine Learning & NLP Capabilities

Startup’s machine learning and natural language processing capabilities analyze and distill the most relevant consumer reviews
AUSTIN, Texas, February 23, 2018 – Bazaarvoice, Inc., a leading provider of consumer-generated content (CGC), advertising, and personalization solutions, today announced it has acquired AddStructure, a provider of state-of-the-art search and discovery applications for e-commerce companies. The acquisition will strengthen Bazaarvoice’s core consumer-generated content offerings of online ratings and reviews and bolster shopper profiles across the Bazaarvoice Network.

Consumers rely on ratings and reviews when searching for products and deciding what to buy, but when considering products with high volumes of review content, finding the most helpful information can be difficult and time-consuming. AddStructure’s platform uses machine learning and natural language processing technology to analyze large amounts of consumer-generated content to extract and summarize product reviews based on key themes and sentiment. These solutions make product search and discovery faster, easier and more enjoyable for consumers and boost their confidence to make informed purchases.

The combination exemplifies Bazaarvoice and AddStructure’s shared vision and commitment to leverage the promise of cutting-edge machine learning and natural language processing technology, applied to one of the world’s largest sets of consumer-generated content and Bazaarvoice’s unique shopper data, to deliver next-generation product and feature enhancements across the Bazaarvoice platform.

“As consumer behavior continues to evolve, brands and retailers must keep pace with new shopping trends and technologies to deliver engaging and consumer-friendly shopping experiences,” said Gene Austin, CEO of Bazaarvoice. “AddStructure’s advanced capabilities in natural language processing and machine learning are an incredible addition to our product portfolio and we are excited to partner with the AddStructure team to bring innovative e-commerce solutions to market and deliver tremendous value to our clients.”

“We created AddStructure to make it easy and convenient for consumers to discover products across any shopping channel and on any device,” said Jarrod Wolf, CEO of AddStructure. “We’re excited to join Bazaarvoice because of their extensive experience in the ratings and reviews space and their impressive network of brand and retail websites. Integrating our technology with their network data will help shoppers across a larger number of retail verticals and categories find the most relevant products and make the best shopping choices.”

AddStructure is one of 10 companies that participated in the first-ever Techstars Retail Accelerator in partnership with Target, a program that invests in startups disrupting the retail space. Leading retailers like Target and Best Buy have used AddStructure’s cutting-edge technology to distill the most relevant online reviews and customer questions that help consumers make their purchase decisions.

“AddStructure was in our very first Techstars Retail Accelerator program and watching the team’s ideas come to life has been incredibly rewarding,” said Ryan Broshar, Managing Director of the accelerator program. “We are thrilled that Bazaarvoice also recognized AddStructure’s talent and potential; combining these companies will lead to more exciting innovations that will disrupt the retail industry and consumer shopping experiences.”

AddStructure’s employees will join Bazaarvoice’s product, engineering and client success teams and will operate out of New York City and Chicago, where the company was founded.

About AddStructure
AddStructure provides state-of-the-art search and discovery applications for e-commerce companies. Each day, millions of consumers interact with AddStructure’s products and data. Applications of the technology range from review summarization (distilling thousands of reviews of a product into digestible pros and cons) to a complete conversational commerce system (chatting with an intelligent digital assistant to find and purchase products).

About Bazaarvoice
Bazaarvoice helps brands and retailers find and reach consumers, and win them with the content they trust. Each month in the Bazaarvoice Network, more than one-half billion consumers view and share authentic consumer-generated content (CGC), including ratings and reviews as well as curated visual content, across 5,000 brand and retail websites. This visibility into shopper behavior allows Bazaarvoice to capture unique first-party data and insights that fuel our targeted advertising and personalization solutions.

Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice is headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices across North America and Europe. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com.

Tenor reaches incredible 2 billion GIF searches every month

David McIntosh’s startup Tenor builds a GIF keyboard — but he actually hopes you’ll spend as little time searching on it as possible.

Instead, Tenor’s aim has been to collapse the amount of time it takes you to find a GIF you like and send it to a friend. Instead of trying to get people to come to the service and browse around on the keyboard or a different website, Tenor’s goal has been to figure out what you are trying to say in some kind of a GIF and get it out the door as quickly as possible. And with that approach, Tenor says its users now search for GIFs on its keyboard more than 400 million times a day and 12 billion times a month.

“It comes down to search, fundamentally we’re a search product, unlike Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Snap,” Tenor CEO David McIntosh said. “They succeed by grabbing more minutes, our success is getting you the right thing faster. Can we take that 25-second session time and make it 20 seconds, or even 15 or 10. There’s a viral loop in place where every time you make search a little better it’s faster.”

This more or less dovetails with an approach for some companies that are focusing on pitching engagement instead of a raw active user metric. Snap, for example, has stressed to investors that it is getting people to come back to the service more and more and spend more time on it. It’s roughly the same principle in terms of using Tenor, which McIntosh says is more of a search engine than an actual hub or portal. Basically, you want to communicate what you want to tell a friend in as few words as possible — except with something silly from Friends. Tenor works across a number of platforms, but now its sights have shifted abroad.

That might even be more true as Tenor begins to expand internationally, planting people on the ground to figure out what localized versions of the service look like. One of the appeals of GIFs is that it can compress a ton of information (McIntosh refers to it as “emotion”) into a short semi-video object in a messenger screen rather than having to type out a bunch of text. As it expands to more and more countries, Tenor is able to start picking off that low-hanging fruit, as making small tweaks in certain regions can lead to dramatic improvements in engagement and usage, McIntosh said.

“Western content is so heavily exported all over the world that these things have almost become globally recognized objects,” McIntosh said. “Often western content with a local caption will perform better. Sometimes the local content performs better. You gotta have the right set of search data, share data, community uploads, it’s the combination of all of them. It’s kind of like the chicken and egg problem; it’s a slow grind until a spark happens — you’re guessing what’s gonna work. Once the flywheel is spinning really quickly you have so much data.”

It’s also begun running its first partner campaigns internationally as it’s started to expand, with the idea that it can go to potential advertisers and tell them that because people use the keyboard so much they’ll actually share that content. That includes campaigns with companies in even India and Germany. The whole goal is to, again, figure out how to get the right GIF in front of the right person in those couple of slots when they open the app and actually want to share it.

There is, of course, a data component to that problem, as well. But with 12 billion searches every month, Tenor can start slightly tweaking each search to figure out what a person is looking for based on a wider array of parameters — and maybe figure out how to get that Tom Brady strip-sack in the expiring minutes of the Super Bowl this year in front of people more quickly. Two months ago, Tenor says it had 10 billion monthly searches monthly (around 330 million daily).

It might sound a little ridiculous now, but in retrospect there’s been a blossoming ecosystem around both creator tools for GIFs as well as ones for sharing them in messenger products or the web. Gfycat, which targets creators with more robust tools, says it has 130 million monthly active users, while Giphy says it has 300 million daily active users. Either way, it means there is both a lot of competition and a lot of interest in this space — including venture financing.

Google’s Android Assistant to Partner with SpotHero through Android Auto

Google brings its Assistant to Android Auto

It’s no secret that for Google, this year’s CES is all about the Google Assistant. One Google product where the Assistant hasn’t really made any inroads yet, though, is Android Auto. Starting this week, though, Android Auto users in the U.S. will also get full support for the Assistant in their cars.

Now you may think that the Assistant was already available in Android Auto, given that the service always responded to voice requests. But for the most part, that was still the old Google Now-style assistant, not the newer Google Assistant (yeah, I know, this is confusing). Maybe the biggest difference here is that you will be able to access all of your third-party Google Assistant services and control your smart home devices from your car now, too.

How do you know if you’ve been upgraded? If you still see the four moving bars when the voice search starts, then you’re still on the old system. After the upgrade, these will change to the Assistant logo with its circles.

 

Looking ahead, Google will also enable Assistant-based drink orders from Starbucks and parking space reservations through SpotHero.

All of this will, of course, also be available in the Android Auto app, which works even if you don’t have an Android Auto-enabled car. As Google told me ahead of today’s announcement, the company also spent a bit of extra time to optimize the Assistant for Android Auto for the in-car experience.

Google has a bit more up its sleeve here, though. It’s also working with car manufacturers to build the Assistant right into their cars without the need for a phone. In addition, Google is also now working with Kia and Fiat Chrysler to give the Assistant access to their cars fuel levels and to allow users to lock their cars with their voice, for example. That’s something a lot of manufacturers currently charge for, so it’s interesting to see them working with Google on this. These kind of features were already available on a number of Mercedes Benz and Hyundai cars.

SwipeSense raises $10.6M for Internet of Things push

SwipeSense raises $10.6 million for internet of things push

Mert Iseri and Yuri Malina

Mert Iseri and Yuri Malina

SwipeSense’s goal to get hospital staff to wash their hands more often led to something much bigger.

The company raised $10.6 million to keep building what CEO Mert Iseri calls an “indoor GPS for hospitals.” San Francisco-based Eclipse Ventures led the round, with participation from Chicago’s Sandbox Industries.

SwipeSense, which traces its roots to Northwestern University, got its start peddling hand sanitizers that tracked how often employees washed their hands. That’s a big deal to hospitals trying to cut down on infections transmitted from staff to patients.

Iseri’s team soon discovered that only about 10 percent of the staff used portable sanitizers. Most workers preferred to use wall-mounted dispensers in patient rooms. So SwipeSense went back to the drawing board and came up with a way to put a sensor in the drip trays attached to dispensers. And it put a sensor on a card that could be paired with an employee ID badge. Add in a wireless beacon plugged into a wall, and SwipeSense basically had an IoT network for a hospital.

SwipeSense began focusing more on data and analytics after a $10 million investment led by Eclipse in 2015. It took some serious engineering and reworking to come up with the sensor network, Iseri said.

In mid-2016 it launched a pilot test, rolling it out to four hospitals. Today it has signed up 20 hospitals, including MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Iseri says. They pay for the technology with a flat per-bed fee, which SwipeSense declines to disclose.

The technology helped solve the original problem of hygiene. He says one hospital reported a 300 percent increase in hand hygiene by staff; another saw a 49 percent drop in hospital-acquired patient infections. Customers found other uses beyond hygiene, Iseri said.

“We built a low-cost, asset-tracking solution,” he said. The company has raised $23.3 million overall, and it doubled headcount to 42 in the past year, Iseri said. He’s looking to drum up more sales for the product and build out the technology for additional uses.

A bigger market also means SwipeSense will be facing off against bigger competitors, such as Stanley Healthcare in Waltham, Mass., San Diego-based Awarepoint and Versus Technology in Traverse City, Mich. “There are a lot of people doing asset tracking,” says Jim Gagnard, former CEO of Lisle-based SmartSignal, an early internet of things company focused on manufacturing that was bought by GE in 2011. “If you try to be a platform, you better have some staying power. I don’t know if (SwipeSense is) big enough to do that.”

SpotHero Hits the Gas Pedal With $30M in New Funding

SpotHero has its foot on the gas, and it’s not slowing down.

The Chicago-based on-demand parking startup announced Tuesday that it has raised $30 million in new funding, bringing the company’s total venture capital to date to $57.5 million.

SpotHero said it will uses the Series C funding to expand into more markets in the United States and Canada, grow its B2B offerings, and invest in new technology to make its app work with autonomous vehicles. It also plans to roll out other new features like mobile payment and operations apps for parking management companies.

“We continue to see unprecedented growth, hire extremely talented individuals and have an exponentially expanding, loyal customer base who love the value we add in their daily lives,” Mark Lawrence, CEO of SpotHero, said in a statement.

Investors in the round include Insight Venture Partners, Global Founders Capital, OCA Ventures, Chicago Ventures, Levy Family Partners, Bullpen Capital, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Draper Associates, Sam Yagan, Corazon Capital, Daniel Hoffer and Math Venture Partners.

SpotHero, founded in 2011, connects drivers to parking decks and other off-street parking. The company said revenue grew 100 percent year-over-year in 2016.

In April, SpotHero acquired competitor Parking Panda in a deal that beefed up its presence on the East Coast and Canada. Parking Panda also helped expand SpotHero’s B2B operations, as it has deals with several pro sports teams and other venues to offer on-demand parking.

Parking Panda was SpotHero’s second acquisition in two years; it bought San Francisco’s ParkPlease in 2015.

One of SpotHero’s remaining competitors is Chicago-based ParkWhiz, which has raised $36 million since it launched in 2006.

“The future of urban transportation is so exciting because of such rapid changes – from self-driving cars, to instant, cashless payments, to making cities greener by decreasing carbon footprints,” Ludwig Ensthaler, partner at GFC, added in the statement. “There’s no doubt that SpotHero is at the forefront of the evolution of parking, leading the industry with its people, marketplace, products and services.”

Read more at: https://www.americaninno.com/chicago/

 

Levyx Shatters STAC-A3 Independent Benchmark for Financial Trading Applications — Achieving 32X Performance Gain

Levyx Inc., whose high-performance, ultra-low latency data processing software dramatically reduces Big Data infrastructure costs, revealed today record shattering independent testing results performed by the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC®) using the STAC-A3 benchmarking suite.

Levyx broke the performance record running the benchmark on four 64-vCPU Google Cloud nodes equipped with SSDs while running Apache Spark and Levyx’s Xenon software. The net result was 32X the performance employing much less equipment in comparison to the baseline STAC-A3 benchmark which used a 14-node (24 cores each) disk-based Map-Reduce Hadoop cluster.

STAC-A3 is the industry’s primary performance benchmark suite for the infrastructure that banks, hedge funds and other trading firms use to backtest potential trading algorithms. Peter Lankford, Director of STAC, said: “Trading firms in the STAC Benchmark Council specified the STAC-A3 benchmarks in order to measure the potential of software and hardware innovations to accelerate backtesting. The competitive pressure on firms to bring smarter algorithms to market in less time, together with the increasing use of machine learning to automate development of candidate algorithms, has put backtesting on the critical path to revenue. Levyx’s use of STAC-A3 shows that the company is putting serious focus on the industry’s desire to speed up this key workload.”

Reza Sadri, CEO of Levyx, said: “Since the financial sector typically pushes the envelope for low-latency technologies, our results for this class of sophisticated backtesting validate our performance benefits in a real-world application and point to an exciting market opportunity within the financial space. Similarly, these performance benefits can also accelerate the Time-To-Value in other large markets, such as analyzing trends in insurance, credit scores and consumer sentiment, to name a few. In addition, the STAC results highlight that we drastically reduce the data center footprint and related costs (in the cloud or on-premise).”

Levyx’s Xenon™ leverages the high-performance nature of Levyx’s Helium™ core engine and extends it into a low latency, scalable data analytics solution. Xenon is designed to manage the retrieval, processing, and indexing of very large datasets, i.e., collections of billions of objects, spread across a tightly coupled cluster of servers, each with multi-terabyte persistent storage capabilities. More specifically, Xenon is a distributed database system having the following functional capabilities:

  1. Core SQL functionality: filter, projection, selection, sort, join, groupby, and aggregates on structured data, i.e., schema-based tables.
  2. Support for random lookup and neighborhood search using an index rather than scan and filter.
  3. Tightly integrate with the Apache Spark system for ease of deployment and use (also fully capable to function in native mode, or serve as an off-load layer for other big-platforms and systems).
  4. Scale with the number of cores in the cluster and use SSDs (or other high-bandwidth, low latency persistent storage) as a persistent memory layer for large, live datasets.

The efficiency with which Xenon can process massive workloads can also be applied in the processing of similar large-scale data sets in other applications within the financial sector, as well as in different vertical industries such as Government, Internet of Things (IoT), Oil and Gas, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity.

About Levyx Inc.
Levyx’s software solutions fundamentally disrupt the economics of Big-Data applications, bringing the benefits of high-speed Big-Data processing to the masses. No longer reserved for the largest enterprises, Levyx technology can process hundreds of millions of queries per second on commodity servers on a few nodes, making Big-Data processing much more accessible to organizations of all sizes. More information is available at www.levyx.com.

About STAC
STAC® is a technology-research firm that facilitates the STAC Benchmark™ Council (www.STACresearch.com/council), an organization of leading financial institutions and technology vendors that specifies standard ways to assess technologies used in the financial markets. The Council is active in an expanding range of low-latency, big-compute, and Big-Data workloads.

The STAC-A3 benchmark report may be downloaded for free by going to:
www.STACresearch.com/levyx

Levyx, the Levyx logo, Helium, and Xenon are trademarks of Levyx Inc. STAC and all STAC names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Securities Technology Analysis Center, LLC. All other trademarks or brand names referred in this press release are the property of their respective owners.

http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/07/13/1044394/0/en/Levyx-Shatters-STAC-A3-Independent-Benchmark-for-Financial-Trading-Applications-Achieving-32X-Performance-Gain.html

Coming off a year of nearly 4,000 percent growth, Regroup Therapy just raised a $6M Series A

Regroup Therapy has had a whirlwind of a year.

The Chicago-based startup, which uses video technology to deliver mental health services to underserved areas, announced on Thursday that it has raised a $6 million Series A round of funding led by OSF Ventures.

Regroup Therapy, which raised a $1.8 million seed round last spring, has seen its annual recurring revenues grow by nearly 4,000 percent over the past year.

“We were aiming for half a million dollars annual revenues last year, but we’re on track to book more than $4 million,” said founder and CEO David Cohn. “Our seed funding allowed us to invest in more people. When we got away from trying to do three or four times more than is humanly possible, we discovered that our processes were actually really good — we just needed more people out there.”

Although he is excited about his company’s growth, Cohn said Regroup Therapy’s primary focus remains on its mission to improve access to mental health care services.

“The big issue we’re trying to solve is that there’s a real shortage of mental health providers in the right place at the right time,” said Cohn. “We want to make sure we can get the right clinicians to the right patients faster, and with a higher quality.”

Regroup Therapy does so by hiring psychiatrists, advanced psychiatric nurses, therapists and social workers who deliver mental health services through its HIPAA-compliant video platform. These behavioral health experts serve as a virtual staff for healthcare providers who don’t have those resources available locally.

Cohn said appointments are currently delivered by a mixture of part-time contractors and full-time employees, but that the percentage of full-time employees has steadily grown alongside the demand for the company’s services.

Cohn said expansion beyond traditional healthcare systems and into new underserved settings like correctional facilities and Native American healthcare services have been a major catalyst for Regroup Therapy’s growth.

“We feel like we’re still barely scratching the surface, and that a lot of people are still struggling to get access to good services,” he said. “That’s horrible for those people and their families, but it’s also really bad for the economy. And we believe this is the best way to solve that problem.”

With 15 full-time employees to date, Cohn expects to double his company’s headcount this year. The bulk of hiring will be in sales and business development, but the company will also be hiring software engineers, physicians, physician recruiters and account managers.

Lead investor OSF Ventures is part of the OSF HealthCare system. Hyde Park Angels, OCA Ventures, HLM Venture Partners, Furthur Fund and Impact Engine also participated in the round.

Solovis Raises $8M to Accelerate Growth

DALLASMay 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Solovis, a multi-asset class portfolio management, analytics and reporting platform for limited partners and asset allocators, today announced it has raised $8 million in a Series A round. The funding was led by Edison Partners, a leading growth equity capital firm based in Princeton, NJ. Previous investors MissionOG, OCA Ventures, Timberline Ventures, Northwestern University, and Backstop Solutions co-founder Jeremie Bacon also participated. Joining the consortium this round is Cultivation Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in technology and life sciences, with several partners who have worked in investment management technology.

“During the last year, Solovis has experienced 300 percent growth with top-tier endowments, foundations, and family offices adopting its platform, helping to establish the company as the emerging industry standard for multi-asset class managers,” says Tom Vander Schaaff, General Partner, who led the investment for Edison. “We are impressed by Solovis’ rapid growth, deep roster of marquee customers, and its market leadership position. The financing will allow Solovis to continue to expand its solutions and magnify its significant impact on the industry,” he added.

Solovis provides a holistic, open architecture approach to multi-asset class portfolio management. Built by industry practitioners with extensive experience in private equity, hedge funds, and traditional asset classes, the company offers a flexible, robust platform for performance, exposures, liquidity and cash flow forecasting with front-to-back office integration, eliminating multiple system solutions and error-prone spreadsheets. “When you speak with Solovis, you can immediately tell they have been in your seat and speak your language. The system was built from the bottom-up to specifically address the challenges of multi-asset class investing. That made all the difference in the world to us and has been invaluable in synthesizing disparate data efficiently,” says Brandon Pevnick of the JFMC Pooled Endowment Portfolio.

With this Series A financing, Solovis will significantly expand its team in Dallas, TX and Charlottesville, VA, as well as establish a presence in New York, NY and San Francisco, CA. “This round will deepen and expand our Dynamic Forecasting suite and strengthen our ability to address the growing demand for our Analyst Services, a big differentiator for us in the marketplace cementing Solovis’ position as a strategic partner for limited partner and asset allocators,” says Solovis co-founder and CEO Josh Smith.

Tenor moves to monetize GIFs with launch of real-time analytics tool and ad product

Tenor is hoping to take advantage of people’s infatuation with animated GIFs by launching two tools that help brands bring their message to the more than 200 million monthly users who search for the right GIF across mobile messaging apps. The company is taking the first steps in monetizing its service with the launch of a real-time analytics tool called Tenor Insights, which will educate marketers on GIF usage and the availability of sponsored GIFs.

After more than three years, Tenor wants to bring in some money, and it believes its approach is unique. What Google offers around intent and Facebook does with social data, Tenor believes it can do around emotion. Its reach is certainly vast, with integrations into FacebookFacebook MessengerTwitteriMessage, and others. But in order to get brands to buy in, it needs to convince them that emotions are worth betting on.

Tenor Insights is similar to the keyword research tool that’s available from Google AdWords. It’ll report the top emotions people are expressing within messages, which can be sorted by time of day, week, or specific event, along with pertinent search terms that brands may be interested in, and insights into how different feelings are tied into GIFs.

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and Tenor is banking on the idea that GIFs could result in more sales conversions than sentiment analysis or even a keyword can. When you see a happy dance GIF, it immediately tells you the sender’s state of mind — and perhaps what they’re interested in — whereas if you try to analyze their tweet, post, or message you may be limited to an overall positive or negative sentiment. And a keyword doesn’t necessarily reflect a person’s emotional state.

“The challenge for sentiment is that people aren’t saying things publicly at all,” stated Tenor chief executive David McIntosh in an interview with VentureBeat. Current advertising offerings are looking at the public space, such as social networks and search engines. But with GIFs, Tenor is able to cross into harder to reach areas, such as instant or text messages, and it’s here that valuable intelligence could be gathered. “Our signal is super strong. People are going to Tenor because I’m super upset and want to express that,” he said.

“We’ve never offered analytics before,” McIntosh explained. “We’ve put out data on an ad hoc basis, but now we let any marketer understand insights in what [people are] thinking, and in sheer volume. If you’re a brand, you don’t know where there’s a lot of volume around people saying ‘good morning’ and turning [users] into brand ambassadors.”

Ultimately, where the company could be going is a programmatic sponsored GIF program that lets brands bid for images that suit their campaign. You’ll start to see some of these creative GIFs in the wild, but the feature’s not available through a self-service model. Instead, brands have to work directly with Tenor’s team to implement them. Earlier this year, the company launched a pilot program around the Warner Bros. movie LEGO Batman. The program showed associated GIFs when people searched for terms like “high five,” “whoa,” “let’s go,” “smirk,” “shrug,” “flirty,” and “no.”

Helping lead the charge to develop an emotional graph and increase adoption by brands is Jason Krebs, Tenor’s chief business officer, who joined last month after a tour at Maker Studios as its head of sales. He admits that it’s “too soon to tell whether people will jump head over heels for this new paradigm,” but he said that “brands have a lot of stories to tell” and that GIFs could play an important role in the future.

“For Dominos, when someone searches for ‘best day ever’, [the pizza maker] can sponsor GIFs. It’s about giving marketers an opportunity to help customers express emotion using products they love,” McIntosh said. “With this tool, step one is to help brands understand the volume that’s out there. Most people out there don’t know how many people search ‘good morning’ every month. We want to own the visual language.”