Poetry All Around

YANDEX.MUSIC, Moscow / YANDEX / 2021

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The Search app is one of the most popular products by Russian IT-giant Yandex. Recently we have added a smart camera option to our app. The camera is basically the new way of searching combining PC vision, machine translation and search technologies. It recognises objects and searches for them.

So how do we make people use our visual search more and more? To solve this problem we came up with a very poetic idea.


“Poetry All Around” is a new feature in Yandex smart camera that finds poetry in everything around you.

And it’s not just a simple search that puts together the image and its definition – it is the first Poetic Augmented Reality in the world.


The audience is basically all the users of Yandex Search App that use visual search through Smart Camera.

Our strategy was to gamify the feature and make people use it more frequently – and what’s more importantly to make poetry cool and hypel again. We knew that the best way for a person to learn something is to enjoy the process.


This unique technology defines not only material objects but also meanings – it knows how to find unexpected matches of pictures and poems and how to demonstrate multiple layers of poetic canvas.

For example, you take a photo of your beloved dog and you get Akhmatova’s poem about love.

Or take a photo of the cat in the cat carrying case and the feature associates it with “the feeling of being a prisoner” and finds the verse on point.

The algorithm is designed to look for poems of different Russian poets: from the classic ones by Lermontov or Tsvetaeva to the very modern verses by famous rapper Oxxxymiron or legendary lyricist Boris Grebenshikov.


Everyone in Russia was forced to read too much poetry at school and therefore everyone hates it. But we, as a local brand, strive to develop and popularize the Russian language, as it is our DNA. So through play and interest, we made people read poetry.

We also managed to help them form a new habit – people started searching via smart camera more and more.

Thanks to our new poetic feature we have managed to gain 10?+ reach, 100?+ daily users, 2k+ posts shared per day

And we won the hearts of TikTokers by going viral on the platform.

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