In today’s cultural and political climate, the topic of skin tones can be a loaded issue. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a fundamental factor for beauty consumers.
Knowing that, Pinterest developed a search tool for skin tones with inclusivity in mind that is now going to launch on mobile, the company said Thursday.
The social media bookmarking platform started testing skin-tone ranges in April 2018. Born of a close collaboration between the company’s technical group and inclusion and diversity teams, the feature’s purpose was to bring inclusivity into web search, while helping beauty consumers narrow results that are relevant to them.
According to the firm’s newsroom post, the tool will roll out in the iOS app first, with Android to follow afterward. It will show up as users conduct beauty searches.
“Over the coming weeks, as you search for makeup and hair ideas on iOS, select a palette to narrow your search from the drop-down in the upper left corner,” the company said. “Searches for terms like ‘beauty tips,’ ‘eye shadow’ and trends like ‘glossy makeup’ (searches + 89 percent), stand-out lip colors (searches + 467 percent), or ‘going gray’ (+ 879 percent), will now result in more personalized videos and Pins.”
Each palette represents a range of skin tones, and the company plans to continue expanding the options over time.
Beauty represents a significant chunk of users’ interests on the network. “Beauty” remains one of the most-searched categories on Pinterest, and the company says more than 52 million users per month actively engage with beauty content.
Pinterest also pointed to GfK’s November study of the consumers’ path to purchase, which cited that 63 percent of beauty and personal-care “pinners” use Pinterest to discover products on their path to purchase, and 86 percent made a purchase based on seeing content from beauty brands on Pinterest.
The report suggests that the service holds sway in brick-and-mortar retail, as well. As many as 53 percent of those pinners used the app in stores, while shopping for beauty and personal-care products.
Pinterest has made significant investments in artificial intelligence, and some of that work extends to search as well. With the help of machine learning, the data informs users’ home feeds and recommendations, which become more personalized the more they search.