Photography service EyeEm has unveiled a new web upload feature which it says will help make images more searchable. Called “EyeVision,” it analyzes any photo in order to craft a set of suggested tags and categories to maximize exposure.
This announcement comes as EyeEm marks 15 million users — an increase of 2 million since March.
Beyond letting you simply snap and upload photos, EyeEm wants to help monetize your work. It’s building on the launch, earlier this year, of a marketplace that should help it further distinguish itself from the likes of Instagram, Hipstamatic, and Flickr. But if you want to get paid for your work —well, that’s going to require having the right tags, which can be difficult to determine because what tags are people really looking for?
So what does EyeVision do exactly? It takes any image and analyzes it with its smart algorithm. It currently recognizes 20,000 objects (hat, shirt, man, sun), abstract elements (the rule of thirds, vanishing point, symmetry, negative space), and tonal elements (surrealism, sadness, alone, care-free, exciting), and is continuing to learn more. After processing the photo, the tool will produce a series of suggested tags that you can use to label your photograph within its social network and/or marketplace.
VentureBeat tested EyeVision by uploading a photo of Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella from this year’s Dreamforce conference. The end result was an aesthetic rank of “good” and tags that included “indoors,” “sitting,” “young adult,” “selective focus,” “real people,” “casual clothing,” “sofa,” and others. These tags obviously didn’t include the names of the people in the photo — it probably couldn’t because there wasn’t anything within the metadata or elsewhere in the image. But many of the tags it provided probably wouldn’t have been associated with the photo otherwise, and someone looking for these types of photos may be interested.
The tool only supports photos — don’t bother uploading videos to EyeVision, as the system can’t handle it.
With more than 60 million “authentic photos” listed in its Market, EyeEm says this tool is “adding ease to the entire photography process from shoot to sell. Image buyers find the photos they need faster and easier, and photographers save hours of time keywording countless images.”
As mentioned earlier, EyeVision is a part of a new upload feature that you can use right from your web browser, and the interface looks pretty straightforward. After logging into EyeEm, you will find an upload button at the top right-hand section of the screen. The next screen is a drag-and-drop feature that will scan each photo and begin the editing process. You’ll be able to see each photo’s discovery rating, and will be presented with suggested tags.
Taking the same photo we have of Nadella, EyeEm’s upload feature pulled in results from EyeVision. Further down the screen, you have the option of adding the photo(s) to the Market. Unfortunately you won’t be able to do any edits to your work (such as applying filters or making any other corrections) —this is a big difference from the mobile app version.
Both of these tools will likely please the photography community, where many are still snapping creative and amazing photos using DSLR cameras instead of mobile devices. And some will prefer to use desktop photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Aperture to touch up their work before sharing it with the world.
The current workflow of getting an image on EyeEm has been pretty convoluted: Take an image, upload it to Dropbox or a cloud service, download it to your mobile device, and then upload it to EyeEm — now it’s a much simpler process. Like EyeVision, this upload feature will let photographers get right down to what they want to do — sell their photos — instead of spending needless hours tagging everything manually in an effort to maximize exposure.
With improved tagging, EyeEm’s recently refreshed Discover feed could benefit as well, showing people images that they have never seen before.
The EyeVision-powered web upload experience is available through an invite-only program. You can request access if you are eager to get started, but EyeEm says general availability is expected later next month. Preference is being given to Market users “to help their photos get discovered.” It’s also only available on the Web, though there are plans to extend it to the company’s mobile apps.