By downloading a new extension for Google Chrome, any Internet image can be used to search “related ideas and products” on Pinterest and the web, without leaving a web page or search.
“Just like on Pinterest, you can use visual search to pinpoint specific objects, products, patterns and colors in an image and get related items and ideas in real-time,” the company said. “So if you’re scrolling through your favorite fashion blogger’s photos, now you can use visual search to find the exact or similar outfit, bag, shoes and more. With visual discovery now available across the web, out in the world and throughout Pinterest, really anything you see can be a starting point for a search.”
A Pinterest spokeswoman said the company is not monetizing the extension “at this time,” leaving the current search results to be “all organic.”
“The hope is that the extension helps people find products and ideas they love that they may not have known existed, which can drive more purchases and engagement,” the spokeswoman said.
While the search tool is currently only available for use with Chrome, Pinterest said more browsers will be “coming soon.”
The extension rollout comes only a few weeks after Pinterest introduced updates aimed at making it easier for users to buy based on images instead of search words.
Similar to the Chrome extension, Pinterest’s Shop the Look feature automatically detects multiple items within an image and searches for related items available for sale. It also turns the function inward by showing, based on a product Pin, other ways that Pinterest users or “Pinners” have styled a related item.
Not all images are currently enabled with Shop the Look, but those that are contain blue dots to indicate which items in the image can be searched. CB2, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Target and Wayfair are among the first retailers to offer shoppable looks through the function.
Pinterest also announced a beta version of Lens, which allows the camera on a user’s phone or smart device to find similar items on Pinterest, along with Instant Ideas, which also serves up images related to a specific Pin.