Luminate Launches Image App Platform: Press Round-Up

“Pixazza is dead. Long live Luminate,” says Kara Swisher at All Things D. “You don’t have to twist your tongue pronouncing Pixazza anymore,” quips Alexei Oreskovic in his Reuters story. My favorite comment on the name-change, though, comes from The Inquirer: “Online image monster Pixazza is no more, in its place stands Luminate, the same company but with a name that does not look like a Scrabble accident.” Mind you, a 7-letter Scrabble accident that’s worth 84 points*, plus whatever triple-letter scores you might play — but still.

VentureBeat spells out the Luminate mission nicely:

“Mountain View, Calif.-based Luminate wants images to be a gateway for accessing rich and relevant content; images can become more than visual stimuli. Images can become a canvas to shop, share, comment, examine, curate, search and socialize…. Luminate wants app makers to use their imagination in creating apps that use the images as springboards into something cool.”

(Luminate CEO Bob Lisbonne.)

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s now worth even more,” says Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin in USA Today. Facebook’s Elliott Schrage (a Luminate advisor) tells the Mercury News that a better reinterpretation of the expression might be: “If a picture’s worth a thousand words, now it can be worth a thousand links.”

Colleen Taylor summarizes the first batch of apps for her GigaOM story: “Luminate’s new platform will host applications that provide additional info about any kind of picture published online, such as stats for a professional athlete pictured in a sports story, a geo-tag of where a photo was taken, or a movie trailer related to a certain image.” Austin Carr at FastCompany says the social sharing tools are especially interesting: “Using the Twitter app, for example, users can select a section of the image, write a comment, and that text will appear as a superimposed annotation on top of the image, ready to be shared via tweet.” Faith Merino at Vator News says her favorite is the public-service (PSA) app that connects news images of natural disasters with associated relief organizations.

In an interview with David Kaplan at PaidContent, I suggest that images might be the next big Internet trend. He too sees evidence (Google’s recent acquisition of PittPatt, for example) to support that idea.

The headline over Anthony Ha’s story at Adweek is “Google-backed Luminate Turns Pictures into Interactive Moneymakers.” In an interview with Forbes, Luminate founder and CTO Jim Everingham explains the logic behind those moneymaker plans: “Luminate’s ad units … counter ‘banner blindness’ where users ignore online ads. Because people are paying attention directly to an image when they see the ad, which is directly related to the ad, it gets strong response.”

Lots more in Leena Rao’s interview with Luminate CEO Bob Lisbonne at TechCrunch.

“A year or two from now,” says Bob in an interview with Ari Levy at Bloomberg Businessweek’s, “if a consumer mouses to an image and nothing happens, they’ll think the site is backwards.”

*UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that Scrabble has only one Z, which means the second Z would need to be a zero-point wildcard. Bummer! That means Pixazza would only get you 74 points, before multi-letter or multi-word accelerators.

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