Q&A with Eyal Gura on PicApp’s New WordPress Plugin

I chatted recently with PicApp’s CEO and Founder, Eyal Gura, to learn more about his firm’s new photo service and their WordPress plugin that has recently crossed the 1100 download mark:

What is PicApp ?

PicApp is an online blog tool for adding high-quality, current, and creative images to
blogs and websites – without the copyright or licensing worries. A PicApp image enables publishers, bloggers, and website owners to incorporate high-end images from stock photography leaders in their online destination. The content is licensed to the publisher free of charge under the website terms and includes an advertising mechanism to facilitate royalties to the content owners.

How did you come up with the idea to provide publishers with free, ad-supported, high-end photos ?

The origin of the PicApp idea is in the striking figures of content infringements online. Out of 100 copyrighted stock photos used online, 90 are used without a proper license. The majority of these, so called infringements, are mainly a result of unawareness and lack of easy to use tools to “do the right thing” (we all saw what happened in the music industry once it became easy for a consumer to download songs using the right price and the right business model). PicApp does just that – it enables online publishers FREE access to legally use the BEST visual content. We have assembled the largest collection of images out there (over 20mm) and now encourage online publishers to license it with no out-of-pocket cost on the publisher side. We do so by adding a small ad unit beneath the image that enables us to stream royalties back to the content owners. Coming soon we’ll have a new, much less intrusive,  ad format.

What is the difference between images you can find on Flickr under CC for example, and images you can find on PicApp?

The main difference is in the content you can find on PicApp. Try to look for a professional photo from the last Oscar or the Olympics right on time when the event takes place – and you will find that you either can’t find it on UGC (user generated content) sites or you need to pay a lot of money to license it from a professional image feed. Now with PicApp, online publishers can get the newest, most professional and time-sensitive images in one place right on time.

Other key advantages are:
(1) Save time – the professional keywords tagging that saves the publisher time looking for the perfect image for hisher post. Try searching for the relevant term:” obama senior economic adviser” on picapp vs flickr and let the pictures speak for themselves.
(2) SEO optimization – we utilize the same keywords and tagging to improve the image SEO, so by using a PicApp image, the publisher improves his page optimization.

What are the most popular images used on PicApp?

The most popular categories are indeed all these time-sensitive ones:
world ( politics , news), sport and entertainment (celebs , events , fashion ), food is getting stronger as well.

What is unique about the PicApp WordPress plugin (in comparison to other photos plug-ins)?

Picapp plug-in is the world’s first WP plugin to enable licensing of premium copyrighted content. The specialty is within the accessibility to this precious, yet so affordable, content as part of your blog editing flow. There are many photos plug-ins out there, some will provide content that is not premium or is not even legal to use, some will provide only small sizes of images / thumbnails, while PicApp is the only platform that offers an end-to-end solution for the publishers who are interested in easy to use, rightful premium content to “spice up” their precious blog posts.

Why should WordPress bloggers install this plugin ?

Bloggers are content creators and as such are very sensitive to how their content is being used online, who reads it and who is linked to it. Using images and other people content in the right way is important to everyone who creates content and now, with PicApp, they have the right and easy way to do so as part of their editing flow.

What did you learn building the WordPress plugin that you can share with others who are looking to build a plug-in for their service?

Key thing is to work with the right developer (in our case , Watershed Studio) so that the learning curve is minimized and the focus is on the unique part of your plug-in and not on the overall “how to build” a plug-in. Another lesson for our next versions and plug-ins is to embed within the plug-in a feedback mechanism so that you can get as much feedback from your community as possible and improve faster.

You attended WordCamp Tel Aviv last month – what kind of feedback did you receive from the attendees ?

The event was special to me in mainly 2 ways: first of all, it was amazing to see how vibrant is this community of bloggers and programmers that voluntarily ramped up an event that is much better organized by far than other corporate events I’ve attended. The other worth mentioning reason was the interaction between the community and the non-profits that came over there to ask for help in bringing their special causes online and raise awareness. I think many of these non-profits will be amazed by the impact resulted in the fact they got a “WP helper” and will go online with such a cost-effective way.

If bloggers have feedback about your plug-in, what’s the best way to share it with your team?

We have a picapp account on GetSatisfaction where our product team interacts and learns from our users. Some of the greatest improvements we deployed came from there! In addition we love to hear the community thoughts on our blog and on the picapp twitter account.

What new features are you looking to integrate into your service?

New coming features are better search and content categories, lighter and faster embedding process and some exciting solutions for larger publishers and blog networks to increase page views and revenues.

What’s surprised you the most about the adoption of the PicApp WP plugin so far?

The adoption rates were a nice surprise for us. Needless to say , we wanted as many publishers to use it and this is why we placed in on the directory , but to see several hundreds of new publishers using your product w/o any publicity or formal advertising , in such a short period of time , is always a pleasant surprise!

Thanks Eyal ! You can read more about PicApp on their site, download their WordPress plugin from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory ( or install it directly from your dashboard for those of you using WordPress 2.7 ), and watch a short how-to video on how to use the plugin.

Eyal is the CEO and Founder at PicApp.


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