Jan Ole Kjellesvig is COO and one of the founders of YAY Images, one of Europe’s leading
stock photo agencies. YAY is built on a strong technological platform, and focuses on innovative
ways to distribute content worldwide, both directly and through strategic partnerships. In 2014 they launched the new image licensing model called “streaming”, which has caught the attention of the industry. Jan has founded several other companies related to advanced photography and internet technology, and has broad knowledge of web technologies.
In this conversation, Jan discusses the YAY Images add-in for PowerPoint.
Geetesh: Jan, please tell us more about why you created the YAY Images add-in for PowerPoint, and how does your add-in help presenters get better visuals within PowerPoint?
Jan: The stock photo business has been changing a lot over the years, and the latest step in this transition has been for stock agencies to get integrated into other services. When we launched YAY Images a couple of years ago, our thought was always that the future would be integrated solutions. That was one of the main reasonings behind our streaming solution, and why we made a top-notch API early on.
When Microsoft opened up for third party integrations, that was an obvious opportunity for us – one that we couldn’t miss out on. We actually talked about a Powerpoint integration long before Microsoft opened up for it since the benefits for the users are so obvious. I mean, the hassle of finding an image, downloading it and then inserting it into your presentation, when you instead can do everything from within PowerPoint.
The next step for us is to improve the add-in even more. I actually think we have the best add-in already, but there are so many possibilities here. Our primary focus now is to restructure the whole pricing model to bring really affordable high-quality imagery to presenters. There has to be a balance between the license one pays for Office, and the license one pays for images. We’re working closely with Microsoft all the way, and they’ve been really helpful – since it’s such an obvious improvement of their product.
Geetesh: YAY Images has an amazing feature called TextSpace; that’s so perfect for use in PowerPoint. Can you tell us more about this feature?
Jan: We’ve always had a strong focus on search technology, and when we launched YAY Images, we also began our Similar Images search, which to be honest, was a real game changer. No stock photo agency had anything similar. The TextSpace search is based on the same search algorithm, except that we can say where an image has available space for text. We launched the feature on our website a year ago to improve the search experience for presenters, and we got great feedback from customers. It’s always a challenge to find images that have available space for text when creating a presentation.
We’re also working on future improvements to the search, which will also be available in the add-in. Hopefully, we’ll make the add-in even better in the new year!