Thank you for being here! Allow me to introduce you to Cherrydeck and tell you our story. In this short piece, I will share with you:

  • the initial idea of Cherrydeck and how it has evolved
  • why we think this is useful for you

Enjoy and feel free to add questions or comments!

Building a Yellow Pages for Instagram.

In the past years, I have worked on a project where I had to find new photographers basically every day. I was looking for their styles and wanted to know how impactful their work was on social media. In order to reach out to them, I also wanted to know where they are based.

Most naturally, I used Google search. However, soon, I began to get annoyed by having to click in and out of many pages and not being able to see a photographer’s work right away. Because Google search results are displayed based on the usefulness of text, it is not practical when searching for visuals. So I turned to other platforms like Flickr and 500px – but there was another problem. These platforms failed to give me essential text-based information about the people who were uploading them. Therefore, neither of these options was a painless way to find and get in touch with photographers.

I was also using Instagram. I thought it is a great place to get inspiration and discover new photographers. But then again, I had to jump from one account to another and I was unable to get more than one result that met my needs from a search.

For example, if I want to look for “Photographers in Los Angeles who have worked a lot with fashion labels with at least 5000 followers”, my best bet would be a series of hashtag searches and hours of swimming in cluttered results. More a discovery than a structured search. There was simply no other way for me to define my needs on Instagram. At this point, it became apparent that there is a gap between visual and text search.

It turns out that I’m not the only one with this kind of problem. I talked to a lot of people about it and they understood my concerns. I also reached out to photographers and after many long and short conversations, they recognize that a platform that combines Instagram and text search could be a useful tool for them to showcase their work better and also do push-, rather than pull-marketing. From then on I decided to build it from scratch and that is how Cherrydeck became a small reality.

First, it was more like a side project. But the more I got into it, it became clear that this platform is not just for photographers. It actually made sense for every other type of photo-centric business: designers, architects, hairdressers, fashion stylists, florists, restaurants, bars, small hotels – you name it.

Hardwired in our human nature, we all love looking at pictures and we rely on them more than ever when we are making decisions. Do I like this architect’s idea for my new home? Could he wear our clothes as a model? Will she give me a great hairdo for my wedding? Will I get nice food in this restaurant? Pictures speak. They can answer all these questions or at least help us creating a good shortlist to begin with.

Starting with photographers is obvious from my point of view. They are heavy Instagram users. But expanding to other types of small businesses makes a lot of sense for everyone. Though photo-centric businesses put in a lot of effort on Instagram to showcase what they can offer — creating and polishing images, crafting stories and so on, we should be able to not only discover them based on the pictures of their niches alone but also able to look for them purposely-along with their contextual information, which is something we all want at some point.

Cherrydeck also makes a lot of sense for Instagram as a community-based platform. Anybody who wants to use our service must have an active Instagram account. When our idea takes off, people will consider opening up new business accounts and put efforts into producing high-quality content.

A zero-fee simple search engine for businesses, that’s what I want.

Currently, Cherrydeck is really easy to use (as of today, it’s in a beta phrase – a test version). Photographers (soon more types of businesses) can sign up with Instagram, enter relevant information about themselves and set up an account in 90 seconds, for free. People who are looking for photographers can tailor their search based on their preferences, browse around the results, get a deep dive into photographers’ Instagram accounts and save the ones they like. They can also get in touch with photographers easily and free of charge via e-mail or directly through Instagram if they want to.

Right now we are working on optimizing a scoring system of the search results to make sure that people will find the best matches for their search. It will also take a while until we have a relevant user population for meaningful searches. We’re doing our best to speed things up!

Social media transparency is key.

Platforms like Cherrydeck aim at making it easy for you to find what you want and how you want to review it. I just can’t think of any company that has made it easy for me to “visually” find what I am looking for in a trusted environment – and at scale across regions/industries. So we are trying to change that.

We have set up our technology to be able to scale well across multiple languages and industries in a matter of a few weeks. Within a few months, we hope to offer you a platform which is useful for both consumers and photo-centric businesses. Maybe you, reading right now, will find your next hairdresser here? Or maybe an event photographer for your fashion show? Or a new restaurant to invite your date? We don’t know – but we hope to make it happen.

Thank you for reading and see you on Cherrydeck!



Photo by Gerd Bayer

Posted by:Philipp Baumgaertel

Philipp is the founder of Cherrydeck. He is all about people, nerdy things, and the startup culture. Follow him on Instagram @philippb_ok