Constantly new companies are showing up, like Yotophoto (searching for images whose copyright owners allow their works to be used by others), Photoshelter, or Scoopt, a picture agency for citizen reporters.
Another new company is Seattle-based Pixsy. Despite the logo, which raises the question if it´s childish or ingenious (a voice in the background cries: "It´s great! You´re just a too conservative dump cluck!"), Pixsy collects photos and videos from blogs and social networks to "find unique photos the other search engines miss":
Doesn't it seem like most search engines have the same boring content?
Pixsy finds photos and videos you can't find anywhere else on the web.
Google, Yahoo!, and other traditional search engines use something called a "spider" to crawl the web and and find photos.
Pixsy, however, accesses special collections of photos and videos on the Internet through technology partnerships with leading content providers that cannot be crawled by spiders. Pixsy searches blogs, mobile blogs ("moblogs"), social networks, and sites that generate large amounts of compelling photo content and have unique material [through XML feeds]. The result: unique photos and a new method for discovering exciting content on the web.
Pixsy states that "this opens up new ideas and opportunities for users to share stories, create personal connections, inspire new ideas and business partnerships, license photographs, engage in offline experiences, or a variety of other possitibilities, like for use on their desktop or mobile phone or for printing and merchandising.
Pixsy's search results are presented similar to other image searches: images with the originating URL appearing underneath the image. When a result image is clicked, users are taken to a page that features the image link, the originating page link and a representation of the site it was found on. Pixsy also uses image-based contextual ads, which are normally related to the query. (Chris Richardson)
Pixsy, launched July 4th, was founded by Internet veterans -- formerly working for Corbis, Infospace, Microsoft and Sony -- who were frustrated by the lack of unique content found of traditional image search engines.
Co-founder Rich Lerz said, "for publishers and graphic professionals, the image-based search engine provides a new source of images available on the Web. And unlike such proprietary image collections as Corbis and Getty, which either bought an image archive or work directly with professional photographers, Pixsy is a metasearch engine that pulls images from many different content partners and blends the image search results together." (Publish)
Pixsy offers an adult content filter and images gathered from a search include the URL the image originated from. The business model in the background is "an ad-driven business that serves up contextually relevant visual ads when a user types in a query ... the company's longterm plan is to build the largest and most unique metaimage search engine. (Publish)
Said to say, but in the current version of Pixsy there is no number indicating the total amount of images found after a query. Also, with Pixsy it´s not possible to link directly to search results (as possible with Google). Anyway, Pixsy´s a promising idea. But don´t forget: "You must obtain permission from the owner to use any material."
(Thx to Chase Norlin, Co-Founder, Pixsy)