Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Pixazza Changes Name to Luminate, Launches Image Apps Platform

Pixazza is dead. Long live Luminate.

Well, from a brand perspective, at least, as the image advertising start-up changes to an easier-to-say name and also launches a new platform for image applications.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up — which is backed by Google Ventures, CMEA Ventures, August Capital, Foundation Capital and Shasta Ventures, as well as by angel investors Ron Conway, Gideon Yu and Maynard Webb — aims to do for Web photos what the search giant did for text.

The new name for the company that called itself “AdSense for images” pretty much speaks for itself.

In addition to Luminate’s previous sharing, commerce and advertising apps, the company will offer information, navigation and public service apps, which you can see below

Luminate says its interactive images are viewed three billion times per month.

Here’s the official press release for the name change, as well as the image app platform:

PIXAZZA, INC. REBRANDS ITSELF AS LUMINATE, INC.

New Name Better Reflects Vision For Making All Online Images Interactive

Company Enables Images at Rate of 30 Billion Image Views per Year

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — July 27, 2011 — Pixazza Inc., the worldwide leader in making images interactive, today announced its new company name — Luminate, Inc. With its new services and the introduction of a groundbreaking new platform (see separate release: Luminate Launches World’s First Platform for Image Apps), the company opted to rebrand itself with a name that better reflects its bold vision of making every image interactive.

“We started the company to change the web by offering information relevant to online images, engaging consumers in a novel way while offering advertisers and publishers additional revenue streams,” said Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Luminate. “We’ve since developed the technology and scale to enable images to do even more. Moving forward as Luminate, we will continue to elevate the role of the image and dramatically improve the web experience.”

Rapidly scaling to accommodate the new demand for interactive images, Luminate now reaches more than 150 million unique visitors per month.

Its publisher network also has grown to more than 4,000 publishers, and the company enables images at a rate of 30 billion image views per year. This is significant because just as page views are commonly used to measure web site traffic, Luminate tracks image views, which count the number of times a web publisher serves up a Luminate-enabled image. It is a clear marker of audience interest.

The name change and announcement of the Luminate™ platform for image apps, comes on the heels of an innovative partnership with Hearst Digital Media. The company’s explosive momentum has also been a draw for top talent including CRO and head of publisher development, Chas Edwards, formerly of Digg; Terry Murphy, CFO, formerly of LiveOps. Luminate also added Elliot Schrage, the Vice President of Global Communications, Marketing and Public Policy at Facebook, as a strategic advisor to the Luminate Board.

Please visit www.luminate.com to learn more about how Luminate is changing the way consumers, publishers and advertisers use and interact with online images.

LUMINATE UNVEILS WORLD’S FIRST PLATFORM FOR IMAGE APPLICATIONS

Company Brings Images to Life with Image Apps Designed to Create Rich Consumer Experience

Luminate Transforms Images Into a Canvas to Shop, Share, Comment, Examine, Curate, Search and Socialize

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — July 27, 2011, Luminate, Inc., formerly known as Pixazza, Inc., today unveiled a groundbreaking new platform for image applications. For the first time ever, consumers can launch applications within the individual images on their favorite websites.

With this exciting new platform, Luminate opens a new world of image apps, breaking down a wall and bringing flat, static images to life. Online images become more than visual stimuli — they become a gateway for accessing rich and relevant content across the web. The apps available on the Luminate™ platform will allow consumers not only to conduct their favorite everyday online activities such as shopping, sharing, commenting and navigating directly from the images, but can also facilitate entirely new services made possible by the development of apps specifically for images.

“Image apps transform images from static pixels into interactive experiences,” said Luminate CEO Bob Lisbonne. “Just as phones evolved from merely voice calls to smartphones with apps, now consumers can enjoy relevant apps inside every online image. The explosive use of images fueled by mobile, social, and cloud computing trends sets the stage for Luminate’s pioneering new image apps platform.”

How It Works:

When a consumer sees the Luminate icon in the corner of an image, it indicates that the image is interactive. Consumers simply mouse into the image and choose from a variety of image apps. They can easily share an image or specific points within an image with their friends, discover statistics about their favorite athletes, see where to purchase similar products to those featured in a photo, uncover the latest information about a particular event, reveal geo tag or Wikipedia information, read more content about the people or places featured in an image, listen to music or see a movie trailer related to an image.

Image Applications:

Image applications will span a number of key categories including: Commerce, Information, Social, Organization, Advertising, Navigation, Public Service, and Presentation. Luminate’s platform currently offers such applications as: unique Twitter Share, Facebook Share, and Email Share apps that give consumers the power to select precisely what they want inside an image and share it with others; an information app called Annotation that allows publishers to quickly and easily tag any spot within an image and add information relevant to that image; a commerce app called Products, which enables consumers to mouse over the image and interact with tags on the picture; and an Advertising app that offers publishers a seamless way to place relevant advertisements within an image.

Luminate plans to roll out new applications frequently to address the varying needs of consumers, publishers and advertisers. Its platform is designed to ultimately enable the development of any conceivable app that is relevant to a particular image. It is this capability that will help define the future of web images.

This cutting edge platform for image apps comes from the company that pioneered the use of images as real estate for delivering ecommerce and advertising three years ago as Pixazza, Inc. With the introduction of the new platform, the company has been rebranded as Luminate, Inc. (see separate release: Pixazza, Inc. Rebrands itself as Luminate, Inc.) as it takes the next step in executing its vision to make every image on the web interactive.

The Luminate Approach:

What makes the Luminate platform so compelling is its breakthrough ability to link images with applications and content beyond the website where the image is viewed. To create the best possible consumer experience, Luminate focuses on all of the data relevant to a particular image or part of an image. Luminate has long employed a unique recognition system that combines visual algorithms with human crowdsourcing. With its new platform, the company has multiplied the sources and ways to uncover information about images. In addition to the data derived from its team of experts, the company can avail itself of information from end users and publishers with the goal of creating a richer, more immersive experience for the end user. Luminate has the most sophisticated system in the industry for tagging relevant content.

“The reason images remained stagnant for so long is because it is remarkably difficult to contextualize their composition and link them to other pieces of relevant content across the Internet,” said James Everingham, CTO of Luminate.

“We were the first to develop the technology to overcome these complexities, turning images into an even more valuable asset. With our platform and the introduction of image apps, we believe that the entire Internet can become connected in a more meaningful way.”

To learn more about how Luminate is changing the way consumers interact with images, please visit www.luminate.com.


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo