I got very excited about this. An experimental service that aims to predict how popular an image would be if released onto the unsuspecting internet. Without getting too in to the details (as I haven’t got them) it seems the service compares your image to 2.3million Flickr images and makes an educated guess from there. If your image seems similar to a bunch of images that are super-popular, your ranking goes up and vice versa.
I can imagine lots of social media agencies around the world looking rather shifty at this point. Has it revealed the magic of memes? Will Simon Cowell use it to find new pop stars?
As a test, I uploaded two of arguably the most viral images to have hit the internet in recent years, Grumpy Cat and Doge… and a photo of some sausage creatures I made once. What did the ranking scores tell us? Grumpy Cat beats Doge. Oh, and my sausage creatures beat them both and are destined to be the next internet meme. Or not.
To conclude, my highly unscientific test of a mildly unscientific service concludes it’s still not clear how the internet works. Marvellous.
Want to play with the service yourself? Check it out here or read the full research paper: What makes an image popular? by A. Khosla, A. Das Sarma and R. Hamid / International World Wide Web Conference (WWW), 2014