Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Get The Look–the Exact Look–With Stipple's In-Image Shopping Tools

Stipple today is launching a set of products to create a business around editorial photos that depict products.

This is one of these things that just makes sense on a basic level–why shouldn’t you be able to buy the purse that Katy Perry carried to some event just by clicking on it within a red carpet photo?–but is nearly impossible to execute both technically and logistically.

Stipple is trying to make the whole process happen end to end. Building on its in-house image recognition technology, the company has signed licenses with nine photo agencies, 50 brands, and 1,300 publishers.

Stipple’s system intakes images and matches photos taken of the same person at the same event. Then it asks brands to tag the photos with relevant products. It sends these tags wherever the images appear on participating publisher pages who’ve added a line of JavaScript to their sites. Then it helps image viewers who mouse over the products save them to wish lists.

Obviously, many photos, many products and many shoppers will exist outside this perfect Stipple world. But under the right circumstances, it could all fit very neatly together.

Some people might think an approximation of celebrity style–perhaps a similar item with a more reasonable price–is enough. Stipple competitors include the well-funded Pixazza, which Stipple CEO Rey Flemings criticized for its so-called “get the look” strategy of finding product matches within photos that are close, but not perfect.

The perfectionists (or should we say sticklers?) at Stipple, meanwhile, are backed by Kleiner Perkins, Floodgate, Justin Timberlake and Eghosa Omogui.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald