Pinterest Lens: Visual Search Images for ideas and Buying

Pinterest earlier this week unveiled a test feature Lens for its users on its virtual bulletin board platform. What is a Pinterest Lens?

From the video not meant to be shared publicly, it's seems to be a feature inspired by the quote: A Picture speaks a thousand Words.

Pinterest Lens, pinterest visual discovery, Visual Search the images
From Business perspective, Pinterest Lens is one of the ideas Pinterest is pushing itself to the e-Commerce. That's one of the ways which can enable Pinterest make its users genuinely interested in buying things from its platform.

For instance, what will you see if you see a picture of girl standing in front of a Sofa wearing a an asymmetric long top with a pair of jeans, and slippers with artificial flowers on thongs. The girl is looking great.

In the picture you're not just seeing an asymmetric top or a pair of jeans or a great sofa. You're seeing many other things in their individuality and in totality. You're also seeing seeing colors from numerous perspectives. For instance the sunflowers on the slippers, may remind you of some beautiful flowers you saw some time back.

A Pinterest Lens understands this and acknowledges that when a person sees a picture, she/he just does't see the picture, he/she sees numerous other pictures, objects, experiences in the mind. A polka dot a front can remind the user of polka dots on a skirt. Or the color of the skirt can remind the user of a similar colored top with no polka dots.

Its Visual search for images called Visual Discovery works on this understanding.

Pinterest Visual Search 

A test version of "Lens" lets people take pictures with smartphones from inside Pinterest applications, which then uses "visual search" to find similar objects and experiences similar to user's. It would not be wrong to say that with this visual search, more focused or pictures with lesser details will offer more focused search results

How it works? 

Pinterest has introduced a "shop the look" feature that lets people tap on circles on items in a picture, such as clothing or furniture, to explore or shop.

Don't know whether these circles are user controlled. Or they are placed based on some algorithm. Or the'r position is determined by the Pin Creator. But by whatever method they're placed, they still are an idea worth taking a tab on.

An Instant Ideas feature lets people tap on a circle in the bottom corner of a "pin". Doing so also leads to search results focused on similar ideas or concepts.

Pinterest Visual search makes sense for Pinterest, which is a virtual bulletin board platform, where users communicate with pictures. With its 150 Million users, Pinterest's images do feature on online searches. But somehow Pinterest is not benefiting from this exposure. It needs some way to monetize those pictures with online commerce. Using pictures to benefit from e-commerce seems the way forward.


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