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August 18, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: Google Buys Photo-Analysis Startup Jetpac


Users of the gimmicky photo-analysis app Jetpac are losing access to the app and support on September 15, but that does not mean the end to Jetpac. The company has announced that they have been purchased by Internet mega-titan Google. The announcement along with details regarding their current smartphone app, were announced on Jetpac's own website. Details regarding the purchase, including the cost of purchase, have not been released.

Jetpac, a startup, focuses on analyzing photos from the popular photo sharing website Instagram. The app that is being pulled would create guides based on these photos, building top-10 lists in varying categories. These guides were touted as city-travel guides, giving users information on such topics as bars popular with women or hipsters.

The app definitely is a bit strange, for example when examining topics relating to hipsters, Jetpac examines the mustache rate and quality of photos in a location. It makes one wonder if they are careful to not add bars frequented by cowboys or 80s male adult stars into the hipster category.

While the app itself has not necessarily been lauded for being extremely informative or useful, it seems Google sees potential in it. The exact details of how Google plans on using Jetpac's technology is unknown at the moment. There is speculation that Jetpac's photo analysis algorithms could find a potential home in Google's Maps service. This could help with Google's location based searching, which would work well with Jetpac's “Explore Nearby” feature that recommends venues based on location, time and weather.

Whether the startup will have some independence, and a new app will replace the one being pulled down is still unknown, but it seems more likely that they will find their technology being absorbed into Google's.




Edited by Maurice Nagle


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