Pinterest is trying to get even more fashion-savvy.
The popular image platform is advancing its new Lens feature, which allows the camera on a user’s phone to take photos and find similar items on Pinterest. The feature adds to the number of objects the program has been “trained” to recognize over the last month, mainly focused on fashion.
“According to ‘pinner’ feedback, the majority want ideas for how to wear items they already own, so we’ve made major improvements to make lens better at recommending outfit ideas,” a Pinterest spokeswoman said.
For example, if you focus the lens on a photo of a denim jacket, or even a person wearing a denim jacket, it can pull up Pinterest images of denim jackets being worn in other ways and styles.
Lens has also been updated with a zoom feature and the company said it’s now easier to use saved images in the program to get similar or related ideas from Pinterest.
Efforts like Lens and a new Google search extension seem to be paying off. Pinterest said its mobile search has increased 40 percent year-over-year and that it’s doubled revenue per search query since the start of 2017.
The company also noted that its most-recent round of funding gave Pinterest $150 million, which will be used, in part, to create and advance computer vision products like Lens and to improve “local and relevant content” for users outside the U.S.
About 60 percent of Pinterest’s users are outside the U.S., and the company said over the last year it’s almost tripled its user base in Germany and Brazil and doubled users in France and Japan.
The Lens advancements and its focus on outfit recommendations put it squarely in competition with Amazon, which in April launched Echo Look, an artificial intelligence-enabled camera aimed at helping users evaluate an outfit. The Look also includes Style Check, a program built to make outfit recommendations.
Amazon’s most recent foray into retail will let shoppers try on apparel before they make a purchase, and new research shows that the online giant’s continued push into fashion is taking hold with consumers, who are using it more often than ever for apparel shopping.
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