How Jennifer Lopez’s 2000 Grammys Dress Invented Google Image Search
It was 2000 when Jennifer Lopez stepped onto the Grammys red carpet in her jungle-print Versace gown. This is how Google Images was born and here is the proof. In 2000, Google search results were limited to simple text pages, but ever since people started searching for the Singer on the floor‘s green dress that year, Google was forced to introduce this feature for everyone.
After Lopez was nominated for Best Dance Recording for waiting for tonightshe showed up on the Grammys red carpet in a jungle green Versace gown that had a plunging neckline reaching her midriff.
Jennifer Lopez’s 2000 Grammys Dress Made Up Google Image Search
According to the New York Times, after Jennifer made a glamorous stage appearance, her fans around the world just wanted to get a glimpse of her dress and how the actor looked on the red carpet. As former Google CEO and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt wrote on Project Syndicate in 2015, “People wanted more than text. It first came to light after the 2000 Grammy Awards, where Jennifer Lopez wore a green dress that, well, caught the eye of the world.” He continued, “At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen. But we had no surefire way to get exactly what they wanted: JLo wearing that dress. Google Image Search was born.”
“It wasn’t overnight, but Lopez definitely provided the impetus”: Cathy Edwards
According to Cathy Edwards, director of engineering and product for Google Images, “It wasn’t overnight, but Lopez was definitely the impetus that is truth.” She further added, “It’s also not the case that it happened and the next day we said: Oh, we should make an image search engine!” adding, “everyone at the time was like, sure, we need to make an image search engine, but they didn’t know what priority to give it.”
She said that when Lopez’s Grammys dress attracted massive attention, Cathy said it became very clear that it was important. Later, according to GQ, Cathy said the dress became a permanent search for Google queries for ‘Jennifer Lopez green dress’, ‘Jennifer Lopez jungle print dress’, ‘Jennifer Lopez Grammys dress’ [that] kind of thing.”
20 years later, Cathy noted, “I think they knew that information was extraordinarily powerful, and that democratizing information in this way, organizing it and making it useful, making it accessible, was going to be powerful. But I think it’s hard to predict the level of impact that search, the internet, and Google have had on the world. I think everyone is a little surprised by that.”
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