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Diversity-Focused Search Updates

Pexels Updated Its Search Algorithm to Increase LGBTQ+ Visibility

— June 22, 2020 — Social Good
Pexels, a cost-free stock photo and video platform that was made for creators, recently made updates to its search algorithm in order to give more visibility to the LGBTQ+ community. Although the announcement comes in time for Pride Month, Pexels has stated that the updates to its search function will remain in place permanently.

The updates will provide increased visibility for all relationship-based keywords that are entered into the search bar—"to deliver more diversity across genders and sexualities, giving presence to all types of relationships." Pexels acknowledges that while other platforms have a diverse range of images available, they do not appear naturally in common search results. Rather, these platforms will first feature images of cisgender heterosexual couples, and require users to include additional keywords like "same-sex" if they wish to find them.

By updating its algorithm, Pexels aims to give more focus to communities who are often underrepresented, and empower its community of users to tell more inclusive stories.


Image Credit: Pexels
Trend Themes
1. Increased LGBTQ+ Visibility - Updating search algorithms to give more visibility to the LGBTQ+ community creates a disruptive innovation opportunity for platforms to better cater to marginalized groups.
2. Delivering Diversity Across Genders and Sexualities - Improving search functionality to deliver diversity across genders and sexualities opens up opportunities for platforms to support a more inclusive user experience.
3. Empowering Users to Tell Inclusive Stories - Enabling users to find diverse and representative images empowers them to tell more inclusive stories, presenting a disruptive innovation opportunity for content creation platforms.
Industry Implications
1. Stock Photo Platforms - Updating search algorithms in stock photo platforms creates an opportunity to better serve diverse customer needs.
2. Digital Media Platforms - Enhancing search functionality on digital media platforms can result in a more inclusive user experience and disrupt the industry.
3. Content Creation Platforms - Enabling users to find diverse and representative images presents a disruptive innovation opportunity for content creation platforms to drive creativity and inclusivity.
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