UX Strategy Musings from Will Tschumy, Microsoft User Experience Advisor

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Photobucket Visual Search launches!

June 18th, 2009 by Will Tschumy

Photobucket Visual Search from http://photobucket.com/visualsearch

One of the reasons why I love being an evangelist is figuring out how we get great projects done on our platform – this one has me particularly excited.  I’ve been leading the project for the last 6 or so months, coordinating between our great clients at Photobucket and our fantastic design partner, EffectiveUI.  Photobucket, the world’s largest photo website, is launching Photobucket Visual Search today, powered by Silverlight and Windows Live.


From the very beginning, Photobucket recognized that images are almost always social – it’s why they became the defacto standard for image hosting on MySpace and other social networking sites. Photobucket is always looking for ways to make the social experience more rewarding – in this case, they turned to Microsoft for help.

So what does Photobucket Visual Search do?

At its most basic level, Photobucket Visual Search lets you search Photobucket, well, visually. Just type in the search term, and see the results flow over the page. But what if I want to see related images? Here, Visual Search starts to show its value. With a simple click of the related items pulldown, you see terms that are related to the current set of images.  A click lets you see a larger version of the image, but still allows you to move through the collection of images easily. What if I want to share these images I’ve found? This is where Photobucket Visual Search really shines. Because Photobucket decided to integrate Windows Live Messenger into the application, sharing an image with any of Windows Live Messenger’s 320+ million active users is as easy as one click.

Wrapping it all up

It’s really exciting for me to see so much effort finally launching – we’re really looking forward to the response of the community.  More than that, it’s also really exciting to see another major web presence adopt Silverlight and Windows Live Services.

If you’re thinking about a new RIA and want to discuss Silverlight, let me know by contacting me at william dot tschumy at microsoft dot com.  Finally, if you’re thinking about doing something social on any platform, be sure to check out dev.live.com – if you even think you might want to make your site social, live gives you lots of different options with almost no extra work.

Check out http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2009/Jun09/06-16Photobucket.mspx for more!

UPDATE:  Check out http://blogs.msdn.com/angus_logan/archive/2009/06/19/photobucket-adds-sizzle-and-sharing-via-instant-messaging-to-photo-search.aspx Too!

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