Now known as Google Images, the idea behind the Google Image Search feature was none other than the pop star and actress Jennifer Lopez. When she worse the deep v-cut Versace dress to the Grammys in February of 2000, people performed millions of Google searches to get a second look at it.
Searches for the dress continued at a surprising rate throughout the year and into 2001. As a result, Google made it possible to search images alone starting on July 12, 2001. Before this, you could only search text on websites.
The feature was created by engineer Huican Zhu and product manager Susan Wojcicki (who is now the current CEO of YouTube). In 2001, 250 million images were indexed in Image Search. By 2010, it contained 10 billion photos.
The story has been confirmed by Eric Schmidt, who was the executive chairman of Google at the time.
In an essay published on Project Syndicate, he wrote: “At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen. But we had no surefire way of getting users exactly what they wanted: J.Lo wearing that dress.” As a result, “Google Image Search was born.” – WTF Fun Facts
Source: “How Jennifer Lopez’s infamous 2000 Grammys dress — which was unretired this week — inspired Google image search” — Business Insider