Picture Search Localization with the Shutterstock API


Visible localization is vital to competing in a worldwide market. Right here’s how Shutterstock API might help you give your customers the locally-relevant pictures they want.

Everyone knows the stereotypical inventory pictures. Suppose two individuals in fits shaking palms in an workplace or somebody fortunately consuming a salad with no dressing.

However as a collective together with you, your customers, and myself, we don’t take care of these stereotypical pictures anymore. Immediately, we reply to genuine pictures that mirror how our office, dwelling, and lives truly appear to be.

Which means that pictures have to be related to the native market which is why localized search is changing into an increasing number of necessary.

Actually, analysis by the CMO Council reveals that over 25% of marketing executives choose localization because the main strategic focus to drive increased engagement and deeper buyer relationships.

Nonetheless, localized search may be troublesome since every market is a novel mixture of cultural, linguistic, and geopolitical context. To resolve this problem, Shutterstock is consistently refining search localization.

The excellent news is, we’re doing this work so that you don’t need to.

As an alternative of constructing picture search localization from scratch, you’ll be able to combine our API to make use of Shutterstock’s localization capabilities.

Listed below are some methods the Shutterstock API might help ship related content material in your customers.

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What’s the Shutterstock API?

Picture by Blue Planet Studio

API stands for software programming interface which is less complicated than it might sound. At its core, APIs permit purposes and techniques to trade information and functionalities shortly and securely. 

As a result of APIs solely return uncooked information in a machine-readable format, the trade is near instantaneous. For instance, our cell phones make 1000’s of API calls day by day to maintain our calendars, emails, location, and different info synced to the cloud.

Briefly, APIs make the present digital trade doable in order that we will keep related and up-to-date with the fast-moving world round us. 

The Shutterstock API is designed for expertise options that want to supply their customers with pictures, movies, and music. Past belongings, it additionally permits companions to supply Shutterstock’s media search, licensing, and other capabilities to their customers. 

Frequent use circumstances embody advertising platforms, video makers, website builders, and print on demand companies. Usually, our API is a powerful match for advertising and marketing expertise options that permit their customers to create content material on their platform. 

For a complete overview of the Shutterstock API, please visit our developer portal. 

Picture search in 21 languages

Picture by N K

Most customers intuitively seek for content material by typing phrases right into a search bar of their native language. 

For this reason we made it doable for customers to look in 21 languages. These languages include Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Chinese language, Russian, Korean, Finnish and extra.

Along with accepting key phrases in 21 languages, the API additionally returns metadata in a number of languages. These metadata properties embody classes and key phrases so you’ll be able to present a greater search expertise in your customers. 

For extra info and code samples relating to language assist within the API, please consult with our documentation

Present pictures from a particular location

Picture by StevanZZ

Displaying pictures of an area surroundings helps entrepreneurs and companies construct a way of familiarity. To assist your customers discover native pictures, you’ll be able to filter picture search outcomes by contributor nation. 

This filter refines search outcomes solely to photographs submitted by photographers and video producers from an outlined nation or set of nations.

For instance, a person in South Korea and one other person in Germany each conduct a seek for the key phrase “enterprise”. By specifying the contributor nation, you’ll be able to return pictures that mirror the office of their nation. 

Nicole Kwiatkowski, API Companion Supervisor, recommends two methods for making probably the most out of this filter. 

  1. Embrace a number of international locations to floor pictures from a area

    The API lets you go a number of nation codes for every search. You may stack these codes to floor content material restrict search to a area which might embody multiple nation. For instance, as a substitute of proscribing search to Denmark, you’ll be able to set the contributor nation to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden to broaden the search to incorporate all Nordic international locations.

  1. Give customers the choice to conduct native or international picture search

    Create an choice to let customers select between all outcomes or native outcomes solely. This fashion customers can nonetheless get pleasure from a localized picture search expertise whereas protecting the choice to browse pictures from Shutterstock’s international contributor community.

Filter search outcomes by nation for editorial pictures

Picture by CatwalkPhotos

Editorial pictures are distinctive in that licensing restrictions fluctuate by nation. As a result of licensing variation, the Shutterstock API offers a rustic filter that enables customers to shortly search our editorial library for pictures accessible for specified international locations. 

Along with accelerating search, filtering editorial pictures by nation helps publishers keep away from authorized points with editorial licensing which varies by nation. 

For code samples in cURL and PHP, or extra info on editorial content material, go to our API documentation

Bonus: find out how to personalize search

Picture by Fascinadora

Past localization, the Shutterstock API additionally offers further choices that will help you personalize search. 

The most effective apply for search personalization is to construct good suggestions based mostly on recognized details about your customers. Our API permits builders to mechanically set search filters and key phrases for various person segments. 

For instance, a pet retailer proprietor in France is making an attempt to create a digital advert along with your advert creation platform. 

To supply probably the most related pictures for his or her seek for “canine”, you mechanically add associated key phrases to canine resembling “pet retailer”, “pet provides”, and “pet meals”. Furthermore, you’ll be able to exclude irrelevant key phrases from the person’s search outcomes resembling “sizzling canine”.

On the localization aspect, you’ll be able to set the language to French in order that if the person searches for “chat” (cat in French) they’ll get cat photos again and never ones of individuals having a dialog (chat in English). 

For additional details on customizing user search, please refer to this blog post which includes detailed code samples.


Picture search localization depends on a classy search mechanism, correct metadata, and content material selection. Shutterstock presents you all three in an API that’s straightforward to combine. 

Moreover, we’re all the time enhancing search localization to be able to provide a search expertise in your product that helps customers spend much less time looking out and extra time creating. 

If you’d like a demo of the Shutterstock API, please reach out to us. 

Cowl picture by Yulia Grigoryeva

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