Pinterest wants to help people find looks that fit their wardrobes.
The image-based social bookmarking tool introduced a slew of new visual search updates on Tuesday, including a new Lens that lets users search Pinterest for products that work with clothes they already own. In total, there are five updates covering a mix of real-world scanning and online search.
“With these updates, we’re bringing the power of visual search to hundreds of millions of people’s [devices],” said Jeff Harris, Pinterest’s visual search product manager. “We’re helping them answer everyday questions like, ‘What outfit should I wear to a holiday party?’ or ‘What goes well with my denim jacket?'”
The updates include:
Lens Your Look
Pinners can search the platform for styles that go with their existing clothes by taking photos of the looks. Lens Your Look lets the user input text, snap a photo of the shirt or dress and add it to the search to see what works with it.
As a first step in bringing together text and camera search, this update is a meaningful one for Pinterest, which has been pushing its computer-vision efforts and Lens development. A few months ago, the company redesigned Lens with new camera features and the ability to use saved Camera Roll photos to search the platform. Soon after, big-box retailer Target Corp. integrated the visual search technology into its mobile apps.
Today, Lens can recognize items across 3,000 categories, which is a fourfold increase since its launch. Lens your Look launches for English-speaking mobile users.
Users can now fire up the app and their smartphone cameras to scan new Pinterest codes in the real world — on packaging, signage, magazines and other places — for curated content from brands, stores and publishers. The first partners rolling out custom Pincodes include Nordstrom, Real Simple, Kia, The Home Depot and Kraft.
Expanded ShopStyle Integration
Think of this as a follow-up to the ShopStyle partnership revealed in February. The collaboration produced Pinterest’s Shop the Look feature, which marks shoppable home or fashion pins with an overlay of dots on pictured products.
Shop the Look has proven popular: Users click on products and shoppable pins twice as much as regular pins — which, of course, has Pinterest eager to expand the ShopStyle deal. The initial arrangement represented a small group including Neiman Marcus Group, Macy’s Inc., Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Target, among others. The arrangement brings more than five million new products across 25,000 brands, and that’s just for starters. Hundreds more are being added daily, said the company.
In the coming weeks, Pinterest will also fling the doors open to ShopStyle’s 14,000 influencers. Using a new tech integration, personalities such as Color Me Courtney, New Darlings, Mint Arrow and Memorandum will be able to bring their shoppable looks to pins by connecting their Pinterest accounts.
“ShopStyle is committed to developing innovative technologies for influencers to create and distribute original content across platforms,” said Alison Stiefel, vice president of marketing for ShopStyle. The integration lets influencers “reach new audiences with their shoppable looks as soon as they’re created,” while making it easy for Pinners to shop via their favorite influencers.
Responsive Visual Search For Mobile
To make image-based searches easier on smartphones, Pinterest now lets mobile users pinch-to-zoom on pictured items to trigger a visual search.
Visual Search for Firefox Desktop Browser
According to Pinterest, when it flipped the switch on visual searches for its Chrome browser extension in March, the feature became the primary use for the plugin. At the time, Pinterest front-end engineer Kent Brewster described it in a company blog post: “With the new Pinterest browser button, now any image on any website can be a jumping off point for discovering ideas on Pinterest.” Starting today, Firefox users can get the same functionality, thanks a new update to its browser add-on.
Pinterest has been at the forefront of social media’s computer-vision movement since it started pursuing visual search two years ago. Its development focus deepened after it secured $150 million in funding in June, when Pinterest pledged to invest even more into visual recognition and search technology.
“More than any other platform, people come to Pinterest with high-intent to shop and to take action on ideas and inspiration,” said Harris. “As a visual discovery tool, Pinterest not only helps you shop and buy products, we also help people find new ways to style items they already own.”