Microsoft’s Photobucket Visual Search launched

Photobucket’s new Visual Search feature allows users to more quickly navigate through photo’s to identify what they are looking for.

Developed in collaboration with the Denver-based user experience agency EffectiveUI, Photobucket Visual Search is a new Silverlight and Windows Live Services application that makes browsing through all those pictures an easy experience.

Photos can be shared instantly through Windows Live Messenger; users can also enter the photographer’s library or search for more pictures.

“After five seconds in it, it feels different,” says Will Tschumy, a member of Microsoft’s User Experience Evangelist Group who has been working closely with Photobucket on the project. “It removes a lot of the text and reloading time that users have had to wade through. Presenting results as images and then using a given image as the next query to find another set of images is really just a different way of interacting with the content.”

Realizing the limits of throwing up a static grid of images on an HTML page, Photobucket began working with Microsoft and EffectiveUI more than a year ago on a variety of projects to explore how Microsoft technology might help them create something entirely new for their customers.

Perhaps best known for their work in developing the eBay desktop, EffectiveUI’s team are experts in developing “rich Internet applications” (RIAs or “ree-uhs”) that treat Web pages more like dynamic desktop applications than static HTML displays.

By integrating Photobucket’s interface with Windows Live Messenger and wrapping it into a  Silverlight application, the trio was able to create a new service for Photobucket’s 70 million registered users .

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Microsoft’s Photobucket Visual Search launched