Where do the images in the app image search come from?

The app currently returns both Bing and Google image results.

In the early days of the app, we started mining image results solely from Google because it’s better than Bing. We knew it was more expensive than Bing, but that didn’t matter because it was way better. What we DIDN’T know is that Google’s API was limited to 10,000 searches per day. Ever. Across the whole company. No way to increase it ever ever ever.

So, with our 10,000 users, everyone gets one search a day. With 20k users, folks will need to share their single daily search with another user – which makes it, of course, totally unusable.

Some companies DO get 30–50 credit cards, then make 30–50 accounts and increase their daily limit that way. But that’s a terms of service violation for Google. So everything can be fine and great, and then one day, Google decides to ban you from their service entirely and your app dies. Ugh.

However, things have changed a little since then. From 2021, we’ve managed to get around this by returning a combination of both Bing and Google image results in-app, so you’ll see a mix of both when adding images to your cards.

Over time, image search results will be more crowdsourced than Bing-sourced. Every time you see bad image results and choose a better image, you’re making the results better for everyone who comes after you. So, in the long term, we should be able to start getting results that are better than Bing or Google. 

One last thing: You might sometimes notice that the image results are a bit strange. You can learn more about this here:

Why are the image selection suggestions not always that great?

One last last thing (promise): As per the Fluent Forever method, personal images are always going to be more effective than Google or Bing images. We strongly recommend using personal photos, images, and gifs that mean something to you to get the most out of the card creation process!


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