In-image advertising uses “data about the image, its tags, and the surrounding content to match images with ads that are contextually relevant.”  Once a website owner integrates the scripts onto their publishing systems, site visitors can move their mouse over the images or look at an image for a certain amount of time to reveal an ad.
Most in-image advertising have the following characteristics:
- When a user mouses over an image on a website, a small overlay on the lower segment of the image appears.
- The overlay can be closed out by the user.
- Some in-image ad technologies produce a pop-up box when visitors mouse over images.
- Clicking on the text of an in-image advertisement directs users to a new page.
In-image ads were first introduced by GumGum in February, 2008, as a way for publishers to pay image licensing fees on an ad-supported basis. Picad, which launched its "in-picture ad network" in September, 2008, was later renamed Image Space Media and was acquired by Vibrant Media in January, 2012.
- Mei T, Hua X, & Li S (2008). Contextual In-image Advertising. In Proceedings of the 16hth ACM International Conference on Multimedia, 439-448.
- Saint N (April 7, 2010). Ex AOLer Joins Startup That Wants To Put Ads In Images All Over The Internet. Business Insider
- Michael Arrington (February 13, 2008) . "GumGum Launches New Image Licensing Platform".
- Michael Arrington (September 8, 2008) DemoPit Company: Picad Media. TechCrunch 50 2008.
- Anthony Ha (January 19, 2012) Vibrant Media Boosts In-Image Ads With Acquisition