People who eat with their mouth open, rude shop assistants, cold-callers, the guy who’s talking loudly on his mobile phone in a movie, burning your toast, someone reading over your shoulder, spam email, slow traffic lights.
If you feel that any or all of these really irk you, think about the video loading animation that often appears when you access a sophisticated website - white dots appearing intermittently in a circular fashion against a black background. There are not too many things in this world that can rile you up as much as this, especially when you have to search for something important or if you are in a hurry.
Why does it arise in the first place?
“Articles with images get 94% more total views.” – Jeff Bullas, Digital Marketing Expert
Research shows that humans process visual content differently than text. Our brains react to images at an alarming speed. We are much more comfortable analyzing visual data rather than reading a long sentence. Consequentially, written content without supplementary videos or images does not appeal too much to consumers who go online for a variety of purposes ranging from online shopping to internet banking. And hence, most websites support a vast amount of media.
“Images are obviously, a central piece of every website’s user experience. A picture is worth a thousand words. The more modern websites are today, the more focused they are on images.” – Itai Lahan, CEO of Cloudinary
It is incumbent on developers to manage this enormous content and optimize the experience for end-users, to whom ‘loading’ or ‘buffering’ are anathemas.
“If you look at an average e-commerce website today, you can have hundreds of thousands of products and dozens of images per product. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of photos that you need to manage on a single website. Getting these images, adapting them correctly on a user-by-user basis, on an image-by-image basis to get the best user experience is very hard.” – Itai Lahan, CEO
To solve this problem, Itai Lahan, Tal Lev-Ami and Nadav Soferman created the ‘gold standard’ of media management - Cloudinary. Founded in 2011, this software company has over 280,000 customers who use their services to manage more than 15 billion images and videos.
The nitty gritties..
Owing to its rich set of application programming interfaces (APIs), it allows users to add watermarks, upload, normalize, resize, crop, and edit images on the fly. It also means that consumers will have fast access to high-quality media on all devices, and be able to manage their media libraries interactively with the help of APIs or Cloudinary’s Digital Asset Management solution. However, the singularity of this platform lies in the fact that it provides a transition from in-house media management to cloud-based systems, a much more efficient and facile strategy for web and mobile developers.
A bit about the company
The first four years, the company evolved organically without any venture capital funding. In 2015, impressed by positive feedbacks from companies like Under Armour, Gawker, Grubhub and Sony, Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) decided to join their portfolio with Cloudinary. The next year, it shifted its headquarters from Palo Alto to Sunnyvale in 2016 and also launched a ‘responsive image breakpoints generator.’ This tool allows developers to select the appropriate image resolution and size for different devices with the help of Cloudinary’s advanced algorithms.
It uses content delivery networks such as Akamai, Fastly and CloudFront, along with Retina Display. Also, with the help of its face detection feature, it makes image cropping much easier. Other favourites among developers are Cloudinary’s client-side integration libraries and software development kits (SDKs).
So, in case you wish to maintain your viewers’ experience across different websites on different electronic devices and make it faster, scalable and efficacious, without spending too much time or money on R&D, Cloudinary is your best bet. A breath of fresh air in the cloud computing world and definitely a sigh of relief for developers, this technology has yet to reach the apotheosis of its success.
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