Social Native raises $8 million to build a new social media ad platform

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No one, it seems, has come up with a good way to harness all the videos, photos and tweets that budding creators post every day on YouTube, or the Facebook media juggernaut, or its smaller Snap-pier rivals.

Stepping into the breach is Social Native, a company with a fresh $8 million in financing and a well-pedigreed executive team that’s hoping to give brands a way to use social images and messaging as a more effective advertising channel.

It’s not a new idea, but it’s one that was able to draw in SoftBank Capital to finance the company’s planned investment in an algorithmically based tool that identifies prolific social media users whose content meets certain standards.

“Early on, we human audited creators to understand content quality & eventually built an AI algorithm to better understand & predict content quality,” wrote Bhaji Illuminati, the company’s chief marketing officer, in an email. “Over time, creators are vetted via participation in the marketplace, as content is rated & repurposed by brands as creator value increases.”

It’s not much different from other companies’ attempts to use social media images in their marketing, but Social Native claims that its approach leaves brands in control of the message and provides a more curated group of potential amateur advertisers.

So far the company has managed to roll up clients like Walgreens, GM and Mattel (who used the company to create a campaign for the once-iconic Barbie brand).

The company has also managed to bring on two advertising and marketing superstars of the startup world, Jeff Ragovin, a co-founder of Buddy Media, which sold to Salesforce for $745 million, has joined the company as its chief growth officer, and Eytan Elbaz, a co-creator of AdSense, is coming on as Social Native’s chief strategy officer.

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