This talk highlights the work of the Visual Social Media Lab and the Picturing the Social project. It summarises the key research questions and aims of the project. It highlights the value of interdisciplinarity and working closely with industry in this area. It also focuses on the way in which me might study different types of structures involved in the circulation and the scopic regimes that make social media images more or less visible. It also tries to unpack how we can start to think about APIs as 'method' and looks at the different ways in which we can get access to different kinds of social media image data. Both through public ('free') APIs and ('pay for') firehose data.