Images or Photos are the single biggest source of user generated content and the least exploited in terms of "contextual advertisements". Riya with its ability to recognize patterns and text in images can develop the ability to provide contextual ads. Michael Arrington at techcrunch has more and he is calling it a "major strategy shift". I am betting this would have been the strategy from the beginning, just kept under wraps to keep GYM out.
When it’s ready, users will be able to search on an image (the easiest way will be via a browser plugin to search right from the page containing the images). See a rug on ebay that has a pattern you like? See other rugs from across the web containing similar patterns. Riya will make money if the result you click on is from another ecommerce company - Riya pockets the referral fee.I would think Riya is missing a big opportunity in not doing what Google did with text. Provide incentive for users to host images and provide contextual ads for those images based on a combination of "image recognition", "tagging" and "text surrounding the images". Riya should do a "Adsense for images" on the lines of "Adsense for text".
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