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Pinterest’s Visual Search Goes Live

10 Social Media Trends You’ve Been Ignoring

Today, Pinterest announced a revolutionary new feature which enables users to find items without text. The feature has been dubbed, “Visual Search,” and it’s an absolutely game-changer for users and brands alike. Here’s how this brand new feature is being described by Pinterest:

Sometimes you spot something you really love on Pinterest, but you don’t know how to find it in real life, or what it’s even called…Well, now we’ve got a new tool that lets you find all those things you don’t have the words to describe.

This year, the introduction of Buyable Pins made Pinterest the go-to social network for eCommerce-inclined B2C brands — visual search will only cement that.

However, we have seen “Visual Search” kicked out of the nest before, by Urban Outfitters or Amazon’s Fire smartphone. How did visual search come to be? What does this mean for brands on Pinterest? What can you expect as a user? Let’s explore.

The History of Visual Search

Over the past couple years, we’ve seen a handful of brands take a whack at visual search. Urban Outfitters recently signed a contract with Slyce Inc., a sophisticated visual search technology tool, to power visual search for mobile.

We also saw Amazon attempt to take visual search to the mainstream with their Fire smartphone. The feature essentially turned the world of into a “showroom.”

Pinterest, being one of the leading visual consumer sites, has stepped up to the visual search plate and hopes to do it better. Pinterest has already indexed a billion images on its network with the help of Berkley Vision and Learning Center. This visual recognition feature utilizes “deep learning” technology, which essentially teaches “computers to recognize correlations in vast data sets in order to categorize them.”

The Insane Momentum of Pinterest

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Pinterest’ momentum is nearly impossible to keep up with.

In March, Pinterest joined the 11-digit startup club, receiving a valuation of $11B. Shortly after, Pinterest debuted their “Buyable Pin” feature and, after only three months, the number of items “pinners” can buy doubled from 30 million to 60 million. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, in September, Pinterest crossed the 100M monthly active user milestone. Now that’s a stat line. Visual search went live today, so it’s clear that Pinterest isn’t slowing up.

How Pinterest’s Visual Search Works

The tool is extremely simple. When an object catches your attention, you simply select the search tool and draw a box around it.

If it’s in Pinterest’s database, it’ll show you the name and where to find it, then let you buy it directly from retailers like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s, if available. Pretty cool, right?

Why Brands Should Take Notice

As far as social media goes, Pinterest is a dominant eCommerce force. Pinterest is revolutionizing the monetization of social media and visual search is only another reason why B2C brands would be wise to dive in ASAP.

A new method of search means more visibility opportunities for your brand and products! Make sure you’re pinning often and creating dedicated boards with wide reach. In addition, try running a contest or promotion that encourages people to utilize the new visual search! This feature seems ripe with opportunity for an epic scavenger hunt.

What do you think about Pinterest’s visual search? Will you utilize the new feature? How will this change your user experience? Let us know in the comments, and download our 2015 Holiday Planning Guide for Social Marketers for more information on how to improve your strategy during this holiday season.

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Jade Furubayashi

My name is Jade and I'm the Social Media Manager for Simply Measured. We can find common ground in Beyoncé and Chipotle burrito bowls.

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