February 10, 2017Published by: Rebecca Gill-Clarke

Search it to believe it?

With imagery now an integral part of most major social media channels, there’s one platform which is trying to push boundaries even further. Pinterest has announced that it’s launching several new technologies under the name ‘Pinterest Visual Discovery’.

Here’s a roundup of some of the latest features:

Point, tap and discover
Using the LensBETA in-app camera, users are now able to ‘point’ at a pair of shoes for example and ‘tap’ to see related styles of shoe or find inspiration on how to wear them. Whether you're putting together the perfect outfit or trying to match that new rug with the right table, this latest offering could prove to be invaluable for both fashionistas and average Joes alike. Over time, the technology will learn more objects and become the go-to tool for everyday difficult decisions. We’ve all had that IKEA dilemma right?VisualDiscovery

Ideas inspired by Pins you love
Users are also now able to discover similar content by simply clicking the small circle on each pinned image, instantly unlocking related ideas. Whatever you click will appear inline with the rest of your feed, allowing you to mould your viewpoint to fit whatever you’re currently interested in, without losing your place in the app.


This kind of machine based learning will likely evolve around the needs of the user over time, fed by the 100 billion Pins on the site (and counting!). It could open up a whole range of possibilities for Pinterest in the future, considering all of the different types of user that the social network already has.

Bring inspiration to life with Shop the Look
LensBETA was built on the technology Pinterest introduced in November 2015, allowing users to explore similar Pins by zooming in on things that interest them. However this latest feature takes visual exploration to the next level, and opens up an avenue for companies to advertise their featured products through “Shop the Look”. It’s a tool that identifies which items in a Pin can be bought, and offers links to make an instant purchase. Brands such as Macy’s, Target and Neiman Marcus are already taking advantage, with many more expected to jump on board.

It’s clear that alongside other recent innovations such as Snapchat’s Spectacles, live streaming, and soon augmented reality, the future of tech is definitely heading more towards the visual, and we’re excited to see where it will lead. Pinterest is sitting on a wealth of content, constantly updated by it’s community of over 150M+ users. If the LensBETA technology is as accurate as we hope, the platform could become a serious threat to the traditional search engines we use today.

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