Shutterstock is one of the biggest stock photo agencies in the world that has millions and millions of pieces of content that can range from everything like vectors, stock photo images, illustrations, HD video footage, etc.
This humongous content network can be very overwhelming for stock photo buyers who are trying to find something very specific. While all current image searches are based on keywords to organize images, sometimes keywords just aren’t enough.
So, what did Shutterstock decide to do? They reinvented their image search to make it better, faster and more reliable for stock photo buyers to find exactly what they need.
Computer vision technology is something in its infancy, and in my opinion, will be the future of image search. Shutterstock announced a few days ago that they developed an image search based on this computer vision technology in order to improve their image search functions.
Computer vision is essentially a method for analyzing data and understanding images at a higher order that metadata, i.e., an intelligent system of data collection via a computer that extracts characteristics from images visually to recognize similar attributes and patterns in images.
This new technology applies machine learning technology to make their image search better and to improve overall site performance. The technology uses pixel data in images to collect specific attributes. Shutterstock says the technology has studied all 70 million images, and 4 million video clips, to organize and recognize what to see in each image, including shapes, colors, and small details. The data collected uses bot visual and conceptual data to represent images numerically.
So how exactly is this better than their old search? Well, for instance, they have a reverse image search now that you can drop into their search bar to discover similar images. With this drag-and-drop function, you can use it to find images like the one you’re looking for. Shutterstock says they are working on launching a similar search for videos soon.
The Associated Press (AP) just signed an exclusive licensing deal with Shutterstock to give its customers access to AP content. AP has 3,000 images and video clips uploaded every day, and Shutterstock members will now be able to access and purchase over 30 million photos, and almost 2 million videos, from AP Images and the AP Archive.
“This marks a major step forward for Shutterstock's editorial offering, providing trusted coverage of news events around the world to our Premier customers in the United States,” said Jon Oringer, founder and CEO of Shutterstock. “We are proud that an organization built on a single-minded focus to newsgathering and the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism is trusting its content to be licensed on our platform and making it available to our customers in the U.S.”
Shutterstock recently reported that 2015 was a big year for growth, both financially and content-wise. Shutterstock saw an increase in their revenue and expects to grow even more in 2016.
Shutterstock 2015 Specifics:
- increased our image and video libraries while diversifying while adding extensive music and editorial content
- New search capabilities that uses computer vision technology
- Revenue increased 30% to $425.1 million
- Image collection expanded 53% to 71.4 million images and video collection expanded 61% to 3.7 million video clips
- Acquired PremiumBeat and Rex Features in January 2015