Remember Riya, the image search site that was going to Change The World by searching images not through tags, but through analyzing the actual content of a photo? Well now you can use it to buy handbags.

Riya today launched, a photo-based shopping site that lets users click one handbag, shoe, or other accessory and find similar ones.

Remember the story behind this startup: A while back, this startup was about to sell to Google. But marketing rep Tara Hunt and outside blogger Robert Scoble wrote too much about the deal on their blogs. The coverage spooked Google, who backed away from the talks, deciding it was better off developing its own image search. Riya decided it would take over the image search world on its own.

So why launch Like? Isn't it a disappointing result for a startup with such grand aspirations?

Live does two things:

  1. It may bring in a little income. On its own, not so much — it's an ugly site to surf through, so it makes an uncomfortable shopping experience — but Riya could license the technology to other shopping sites.
  2. It may bring in a buyer. Riya needed a publicity boost to attract buyers — Yahoo, for example, could plug this tool into Flickr. [By Riya]