[NOTE: Page is still available, but currently offering no results, February 2019.] ✓

In the beginning, Spezify followed an interesting new idea. They visually presented the search results from YouTube, Twitter, Collecta, Bing, Yahoo and others. Pictures, text extracts and other media were mixed on a kind of whiteboard. Instead of a classic result list, the user receives inspiring results on a desired topic. In 2016, Spezify is just an image search engine for Instagram images and 2018 for Ebay. In 2019, the home page will still be available, but there will be no input field for the search.

Language English

Launched A beta was released late April 2009 and the first official version went online on the 15th of June.
Closed 2019 or earlier, the page is still available, but does not offer a search anymore

Developer Ekenstam, Felix af and Per Persson

Country of Origin Sweden

2009 - [...] Ekenstam, Felix af and Per Persson

Topic Social Media SeEn

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Meta search engine
Visual results SeEn

Used SeEn YouTube

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

JOLIE ODELL (August 2, 2009): »Stockholm-based startup Spezify is a visual search engine that impresses with relevant results displayed in a visual but still functional way. Founded by Felix af Ekenstam and Per Persson, digital creatives who have over 10 years of experience in the space, Spezify arrived in beta in April and launched officially about six weeks ago. Results are culled from a number of search APIs and include social and multimedia content presented as a mosaic of the “big picture” for any search terms. “Web search has looked more or less the same since 1994,” said Persson in a press release. “We were missing a place generating an instant and appealing overview of a certain subject, regardless of media. In addition to finding the expected, Spezify gives you new associations and lets you discover things you didn’t know were out there.” Results come in from sources as diverse as eBay, Flickr, Wikipedia, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, Yahoo!, and MSN search. The team tries to add APIs continually to improve the search experience, which, so far, hasn’t actually left us wanting much. Spezify also suggests related terms for search. We tried out a few terms, of course. Some were rich with multimedia information. Other, drier topics led to search pages with meager and irrelevant content. And we did love that search results, even YouTube videos, could be examined from the Spezify search page. We’d love to have instant options for forwarding, posting, and sharing results across other social networks. We did experience a couple minor issues when using the site. Many of the images, when clicked, take a while to display at their proper resolution. YouTube videos embedded in the results lack volume controls and HD viewing options. And tweets aren’t linked properly for clicking through; users are instead taken to the Twitter page for the user in question. And although the smaller issues are easily overcome or even simply ignored, the larger question looms: Even given the ease of use and fun, visual nature of this search engine, what will drive user adoption and change the Google habit? Granted, getting this “big picture” view of topics is as informative as it is intuitive, but aren’t we all used to navigating through pages of links and tabs when we’re done playing with a new toy and are ready to find the information we really need and want? « Source

Skylar Challand (June 25 2009): »Forget about decision engines. A new tool is here to revolutionize the way we search, visually. Introducing Spezify. Spezify went live on June 15, quickly gaining fans in the creative industry. It's not going to replace my Google habits anytime soon, but it sure is addictive to play around with.« Source

Karzauninkat, Stefan: »Eigentlich keine Suchmaschine, sondern eine Blättermaschine. Das Suchergebnis ähnelt einem ausgekippten Schuhkarton voller Fotos und Notizzettel und lädt zum Stöbern ein. Mit der Maus kann man das Tableau aus Videos, Fotos und Grafiken sowie Text-Fundstellen in allen Richtungen scrollen und stöbern. Spezify ist streng genommen eine Metasuchmaschine, denn es werden die Multimedia-Suchen von Youtube, flickr und SoundCloud, sowieYahoo und MSN durchsucht, dazu kommerzielle Anbieter wie Amazon und eBay, und auch Social Networks wie Digg, Twitter, und andere ungewöhnliche Suchmaschinen wie Collecta. Screen SpezifySpezify empfiehlt sich weniger für die Suche nach einer schnellen Antwort, aber dafür umso mehr für eine Suche nach ungewöhnlichen und inspirierenden Treffern. Spezify ist definitiv eine prima Ergänzung zu den existierenden Suchmaschinen und gut für spannende und interessante Entdeckungsreisen. DIe visuelle Präsentation ist einzigartig, und kann den persönlichen Vorlieben angepasst werden.« Source


Critical points

Features & Functionality


References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN): n.a.
Wikipedia (Others): n.a.

Other Sources

Karzauninkat, Stefan: Spezify. Online available at Suchfibel. URL:
Spezify – Die skandinavische Patchwork-Suchmaschine. Online available at SEO-HANDBUCH.DE. URL:
Jolie O'Dell (2009): Spezify: Visual Search Done Right. Online available at readwrite. URL:
Skylar Challand (June 25 2009): Inspired search URL:
About Spezify URL:

Created: 2013-02-02