Pixazza, a Google Ventures-backed photo tagging service that has been compared to an “AdSense for Images,” has hit a major milestone today. The company’s in-image advertisements now reaches more than 70 million unique visitors per month, which is an 80 percent increase in reach in just five months.
Pixazza allows publishers to identify, tag and match products found within online images on their sites and then link them back to the inventories of Pixazza’s network of advertisers. The service, which can be integrated in a site by adding a single line of code, allows consumers to browse the photos featured on a site and mouse over it to reveal information and pricing about similar products, and if desired, click to purchase.
As of last July, the startup reached 25 million unique visitors per month through its 75-plus publishers, which include US Weekly and Access Hollywood, and was serving 8 billion image views per year. Asof March 2011, the number of publishers in the Pixazza network has grown by 15 times, and Pixazza now enables images at a rate of 20 billion image views per year (Similar to the way that page views are used to measure web site traffic, Pixazza tracks image views, which count the number of times a web publisher serves a Pixazza-enabled image).
So why is Pixazza growing so fast? Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Pixazza, says the answer is simple. With three trillion images on the web, says Lisbonne, publishers realize that they can do more with images, monetize and increase engagement rates.
The startup, which has raised nearly $20 million in funding, faces competition from Image Space Media, GumGum and others.