Finnish Startup Looking to Bring E-Commerce to the Blogosphere

By Beecher Tuttle September 21, 2011

A fresh Finland-based startup called Kiosked has introduced a new brand of Web advertising – focused mostly on bloggers, photographers and smaller online publishers – that allows users to post images that are embedded with ads for relevant products and services.

The company has officially opened its “Kiosked Image Bank,” which contains millions of images and photos that are legal and free to use by anyone. Each image is embedded with a related advertisement, enabling Web surfers to make purchases without having to search separately for a product.

If a tagged photo leads to a sale, the content provider, copyright owner and Kiosked all get a cut of the profit.

Founder and CEO Micke Paqvalén says that the goal of Kiosked is to turn all Web content into an interactive marketplace, bridging the divide between Web surfing and online shopping. He also hopes that the technology will eventually eliminate the need for annoying advertising banners.

“Kiosked provides consumers with instant access to more information, along with the possibility to make an on or offline purchase, find the closest merchants, save products in a wish list, and share them with friends,” he said.

In addition, Kiosked will provide bloggers with a huge database of photos and images that free of legal hassles. Paqvalén says that around 85 percent of images used by bloggers today violate copyright laws.

Currently, Kiosked maintains an archive of approximately 5 million photos – representing almost 10,000 brands – and is adding around 50,000 new images each day.

Paqvalén told Reuters that adding photos to an archive that is accessible by anyone can increase revenue per picture by 20 to 50 times.

Image-tagging technology has become a viable advertising platform in recent years, as content providers look for greater opportunities to monetize their site.

The Google Ventures-backed startup now known as Luminate provides a technology that enables online publishers to build commerce links into their own photographs, which, when scrolled over, show users details on the person’s dress or earrings, as well as links to retailers that sell the apparel.

The company has since expanded its technology to help publishers transform their images into interactive applications, which can offer users a host of additional content, including advertisements.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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