Last year, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced ‘Meta’ to be the parent company name for Facebook. Since then, the term ‘Metaverse‘ has become the talk of the town, but what is Metaverse really? and can it revolutionize the Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR) era?
Soon after ‘Metaverse’ was creating a buzz on online and social networking platforms, Square‘s CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Square inc. (Financial Payment Service) company will be renamed Block inc. to lead the BlockChain-technology based businesses.
As many digital and internet giants were rebranding their company’s face identity OR announcing some NEXT BIG THINGS, WordPress‘s parent company Automattic’s CEO Matt Mullenweg and WordPress’s executive director Josepha Haden revealed an interesting project for the WordPress community called ‘Openverse.‘ (Still in BETA).
What Is Openverse?
The term ‘Openverse’ is the amalgamation of two words Open and Universe. Openverse is a powerful search engine for GPL-compatible images, audio, videos, and much more. It is part of WordPress’s big picture goals for 2022.
To know Openverse in detail, first, you need to know about [Creative Commons] often referred to as ‘CC’. It is an organization that promotes the sharing of legally shareable online content. As part of this, they’ve created a number of licenses. Wikipedia makes use of them and you can allocate content on Flickr, for example, with such a license too.
In a podcast interview (Open Minds), Matt Mullenweg has expressed: In the early days of WordPress, GPL-compatible images were not easy to find. He also said he had even shared his collection of 30K+ photographs as open works that anyone could use for designs and themes.
Matt Mullenweg announced that CC Search would be joining the WordPress project. Automattic hired key members of the CC Search team in support of its continued development and sponsors their contributions to the project as part of the company’s Five for the Future commitment.
Soon after the announcement, Automattic paid the non-profit Creative Commons organization for its Creative Commons Search engine. Then Creative Commons search engine has been rebranded as Openverse and now redirects to its new home at wordpress.org/openverse.
Exciting News! 📢
We’re excited to share that starting today, all of our CC Search users will be redirected to Openverse at @Wordpress. We announced this transition earlier this year, and much has been done to prepare for this day.#openverse #ccsearchhttps://t.co/vXmZO1ezEY
— Creative Commons (@creativecommons) December 13, 2021
What are the major benefits of Openverse?
Openverse is built on GitHub and is an open-source search engine whose aim is to index and collect all Creative Commons licensed, open-licensed, and public domain works. Openverse currently searches over 300 million images from open APIs and the Common Crawl dataset. It goes beyond the simple search to add the results across multiple public repositories into a single catalog and facilitates their reuse through features such as one-click meta-tag generation and attribution.
Openverse is designed as a project that serves, on the one hand, to access all kinds of media or works with a CC license and, on the other, that in the future you can also contribute by adding your own works with the CC license. That is, from your own WordPress in the future you’ll be able to upload your own CC0 license images, audios, or videos to your media library so that they are also part of the Openverse.
At the moment, Openverse can only search for images, although it’s expected to be able to also search for audios and videos in the future. In the Audio and Video tabs, it shows you different links so that you can directly access other CC-licensed information sources.
“The Creative Commons has existed a long time, and the Search site was very valuable, but a bit difficult to use. Now that it’s pivoted to Openverse I’m VERY excited to see it become a much more useful platform. When it becomes as easy to use as many of the commercial stock photo sites I think it’ll be a big win, hands down.
As far as the WordPress Photos project is concerned, I’m super excited for the WordPress community to be able to contribute to the Openverse this way. Lending our own flavor to the world’s photography pool is fantastic. And at State Of The Word, Matt hinted that future integration between the Media Library and either the WordPress library or the Openverse as a whole. That’s literally game-changing. It’ll change how we source images completely.”
LifterLMS CEO Chris Badgett has a very interesting statement about the Openverse project. Watch the exclusive video message he recorded to express his opinion about Openverse and its scope for online education and learning management systems.
Earlier in January 2022, during a Twinterview with WPExperts, Cate DeRosia (Community Engagement Specialist WordPress.org & Volunteer HeroPress Network) has expressed her opinion about Openverse with these words:
“I look at Openverse and the new WordPress Photos project are such excellent ways for a whole new group of people to get involved with WordPress. Not only does the WP Photo project allow new people to contribute, it also creates a fun opportunity for veteran users to share a different side of themselves.”
Let’s have a look at some of the top Tweets for Openverse tweeted by renowned WordPress community members!
Tonya Mork (WordPress 5.9 core tech lead) 👇
Hello Openverse 👋 Discover. Open. Reusable. Images.🤩 https://t.co/eR4JdiSPgR
— Tonya Mork (@hellofromTonya) January 22, 2022
Jeff Golenski (Sr.Product Designer @automattic @wordpressdotcom since 2014) 👇
Just had my first image approved into the new @WordPress open photo directory. In 2022, I hope to contribute a lot of photos for anyone to use! Keep an eye out for some of my astrophotography appearing there. https://t.co/QmDo1TwUSH #WordPress #openverse pic.twitter.com/lNSG0QyflR
— Jeff Golenski (@jeffgolenski) December 22, 2021
David Bisset (PHP/WordPress/BuddyPress Developer. @post_status @enviragallery #WPMIA & #WCMIA Cofounder. Helps organize #WCMIA #WCUS & other events) 👇
Openverse – grab images and easily add them to your #WordPress site.
“We are expanding our mission – from the code on people’s site to what they are publishing.”
— David Bisset (@dimensionmedia) December 14, 2021
Openverse is designed as a project that serves, on the one hand, to access all kinds of media or works with a CC license and, on the other, that in the future you can also contribute by adding your own works with a CC license. That is, from your own WordPress in the future you’ll be able to upload your own CC0 license images, audios, or videos to your media library so that they are also part of the Openverse.