ProgrammableWeb initially covered Cloudinary in 2012 as it was a burgeoning startup in the quickly growing cloud community. Today, Cloudinary announced a host of new image related add-ons that should help Cloudinary expand its offering and user base. Prior to the announcement, we caught up with Cloudinary CEO, Itai Lahan, to learn more.
The new add-ons come only through a number of new integration partnerships. Whenever we see such robust integration capabilities, we can't help but think of the API story underneath. Lahan confirmed the API focus of the announcement:
"Cloudinary’s core is based on our rich APIs. The service offers a complete cloud-based image management solution for websites and mobile applications, covering everything from image uploads to cloud-based storage, online administration, on-the-fly manipulation and optimized delivery. We’ve built the service to be used either end-to-end or as a mix-and-match. To get this going, we’ve built a modular infrastructure that begins at a powerful, inclusive RESTful API layer. Above it we’ve layered client integration libraries for all major web development languages. On top of these is a powerful interactive management console, side-by-side with integrations to common PaaS, BaaS and CMSs. Our new add-on partnerships are a direct extension of our core capabilities. We’ve engineered the add-ons so they speak the same language as the rest of our APIs and the integration is completely seamless."
The add-ons allow Cloudinary to add to its already robust feature set. The goal is to expand its one-stop-shop mentality for image needs. Lahan continued:
"At Cloudinary, we are committed to offering a go-to-place for any image-related requirement you may encounter when building, supporting, extending and scaling your website or mobile application. The new partnerships give our customers instant access to powerful image-processing capabilities. A few examples - with Cloudinary, customers can easily moderate their user uploaded images, one-by-one, making sure that adult-oriented content doesn’t leak in. With this launch, our customers will be able to moderate all their images automatically with just a virtual flip of a button, using WebPurify’s human moderation experts service. With Cloudinary, you can crop your images perfectly using face-detection based cropping. This launch will also provide our customers with perfect crops even if faces are not present, using Imagga’s powerful smart cropping. The list goes on and on."
Cloudinary has always targeted the developer community. Both web and mobile developers have image-related needs and Cloudinary simplifies such product requirements. In addition to the developer community, Cloudinary allows organizations as a whole to edit and manage online images regardless of background. Lahan explained that its user base has always been Cloudinary's best marketing tool, and Cloudinary fully intends the base to take the new add-ons to market:
"Our customers have been our strongest growth agent so far. We will keep building the best service that we can and do our best to answer all our customers’ needs. If we’ll succeed, we trust our community to continue spreading the word around about Cloudinary."
Of the 20,000 Cloudinary users, Cloudinary hand picked a small group of beta testers for the new add-ons. So far, Lahan explained that the response has been very positive. Lahan then described some potential use case scenarios for the new offerings:
"At launch, Cloudinary’s new add-ons will already cover anything from automatic image moderation, automatic image categorization, smarter image cropping, improved image compression, advanced face attributes detection, website screenshot generation and more via a single click integration. Some quick [examples include"
- Taking an Office Docx document and creating a thumbnail image with Sepia effect and adding watermark, using Aspose's document conversion add-on
- Using Imagga's smart cropping add-on to perfectly crop an image and also adding some cool manipulations on top - before, after
- Creating a website screenshot using URL2PNG's add-on while adding an overlay, rounded corners, border and shadows
- Automatic “Glasses-ification” using Rekognition's face attributes detection add-on -before, after"
Cloudinary is heavily engaged with its user base, and it will use that user base to measure the success of the new add-ons. Lahan left us with his expectations for evaluating the add-ons:
"We will be closely monitoring the usage patterns for each one of our add-ons, but the real success will be measured by the response of our community. It’s safe to assume that once this is off the ground, our customers will drive our add-on partnerships forward with feedback and feature requests, like they have for Cloudinary’s core features so far."