15:40 | 10.04.15 | Articles | exclusive 2917

Haystack: Licensed images in one place

Haystack.im is an image search engine which aggregates licensable and high-quality content through the use of proprietary algorithms.

Haystack was co-founded in March 2013 in New York by Vache Asatryan and Andrew Rowat, a Canadian travel photographer. The startup was formed while Vache and Andrew worked together in New York. Leah McCloskey, a Californian-Armenian joined the team in Yerevan in 2014 to lead the design and brand of the product. 

Talking to Itel.am, Vache Asatryan describes Haystack as an intermediary and communication platform between those who buy and sell images.

The application filters image results and provides tools that allow users to sort, annotate, buy, and share content.

“Haystack was created for professionals and companies that search for and buy photos from many sources on a daily basis. Through the platform, they are able to find high-quality images from many sources. It’s an open and transparent image search platform where the higher quality images are rated accordingly”, says Vache Asatryan.

“There are many top companies in this field which don’t want to work together. We try to fill in the gap and develop relations with the top image providers”, he notes.

The images on the Haystack platform are owned by the source partners and are aggregated with their permission. There are also results from Flickr which are available for free use under the Creative Commons Copyright. As for the photos on Facebook and Instagram, they don’t appear on Haystack. 

The search is personalized for each user depending on preferences and topic interests.

The system doesn’t have geographical restrictions, however, local restriction laws may apply. So, the system is available in Armenia as well. 

Through the sale of images, Haystack retains an affiliate fee which depends on prior agreements and the cost of the image.

Haystack is currently negotiating with several stock photography sources with the aim of integration and further cooperation.

Vache Asatryan stresses that they are mostly seeking investors who will become their strategic partners and advisors in the future, as he says that “they are not focused only on money but strategic guidance”.

Narine Daneghyan