Taggstar is making its online image platform available to all publishers, the London-based startup announced today. While it was already serving media partners such as MSN, Sky Living, the Telegraph, and Hearst Magazines, it will now be accessible to any online outlet and blog, regardless of their size.

As you may have guessed from its name, Taggstar uses tags to add layers of content to online images, which helps publishers make their pages more interactive, while expanding their advertising inventory. Links can include additional information, such as videos, but also affiliate links.

According to the company, early engagement rates have been consistently high, ranging from an average of 12% to almost 40% for certain high profile celebrities. Here’s an example of Taggstar’s technology in action:

taggstar home 520x301 Taggstar opens up to all publishers, uses tags to make images interactive and shareable

Taggstar’s service isn’t unique; for instance, we previously covered the Argentine startup Taggify, which offers a similar technology. In practical terms, both companies are able to leverage image recognition to identify products such as fashion items and automatically create “Buy the look” prompts.

According to Taggstar’s founder and CEO, Fraser Robinson, this approach is adapted to recent trends in the online world. “At the moment we are seeing a marked shift towards a discovery-based internet experience, and images lie at the heart of that online journey,” he notes.

In addition to monetization, Taggstar also encourages social sharing. Once a publisher has signed up, a toolbar that includes Twitter and Facebook button becomes visible at the bottom of all images within its site. As for site visitors, they can choose to share images or image details that they like. According to Taggstar, this could be an even more powerful selling tool.