Image search startup Madbits recently announced that they have been acquired by Twitter. A statement posted to their website reads:
“Over this past year, we’ve built visual intelligence technology that automatically understands, organizes and extracts relevant information from raw media. Understanding the content of an image, whether or not there are tags associated with that image, is a complex challenge. We developed our technology based on deep learning, an approach to statistical machine learning that involves stacking simple projections to form powerful hierarchical models of a signal.
We prototyped and tested about ten different applications, and as we’ve prepared to launch publicly, we’ve decided to bring the technology to Twitter, a company that shares our ambitions and vision and will help us scale this technology.”
Madbits shared information about future plans on their LinkedIn Page, which states they’re “primarily interested in the task of image search, and the creation of intelligent, dynamic image sets, to automatically organize large databases of images.”
GigaOm initially broke the news, and they stated it’s “not at all surprising” that Twitter would want to acquire Madbits when you consider how many images are posted on Twitter each day. “If Twitter wants to roll out functions such as image search, improve its search rankings based on image content, or perhaps even analyze images to get a better sense of what people are tweeting about, it will need people who understand how to do it.”
You can add image search to a list of new image-centric features Twitter has been rolling out lately. Last month Twitter added the support for animated GIFs, and earlier this year Twitter added photo tagging and multiple image uploading.