Get ready for Pinners to search outside the box

Tim Kendall
Visual Discovery on Pinterest image

Today we’re launching 3 new visual discovery tools that reinvent how people find ideas. Now along with being able to type in a search, people can also use anything they see—both on Pinterest and out in the world—as a jumping off point for discovering great products and ideas from businesses like yours.

People come to Pinterest looking for ideas for everyday life (what to eat, what to wear), big life events (planning a honeymoon, running a marathon), and everything in between. And inspiration can strike at any time. Someone might come here looking for recipes, then stumble upon kitchen ideas. And suddenly they’ve found a new backsplash, or a wall color they want to try. That’s the magic of Pinterest: Everything’s visual, so it’s easy for people to spot the ideas they love.

As they explore what ideas are out there, they go from open-minded discovery, to collecting different options to consider, all the way through to purchasing whatever option they love most. And there are lots of opportunities for businesses to connect with people along the way.

Using new visual discovery technology, now we have even more ways for people to discover products and ideas they want to try. Here’s a rundown of what’s launching, and what new opportunities you’ll find for businesses like yours:

Ideas come to life with Shop the Look

At the end of 2015, we introduced a way to pinpoint different items inside a Pin. So if someone comes across a streetstyle Pin, they can pinpoint the part of the outfit they’re interested in—whether it’s the hat, shirt, pants or shoes—to discover related ideas.

We’re rolling out Shop the Look, so people can track down and even buy products they find inside fashion and home decor Pins. All they have to do is tap the circle on each item to find the styles they’re looking for.

When they’re ready to buy, they can check out right on Pinterest, or get things directly from the retailer. Thanks to Pinterest's new partnerships with CuralateOlapic, ShopStyle, Project September and Refinery29, people can start shopping looks from CB2, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Target, Wayfair and other brands.

Point, tap and discover ideas with Pinterest LensBETA

Traditional search engines are good when someone knows exactly what they’re looking for. But if they aren’t quite sure what it’s called, finding it can be tough. Sometimes people spot things out in the world that look interesting—a pair of shoes someone’s wearing, a friend’s dining table—but when they try to search for them online, words fail them. They know what it looks like, but they can’t translate that visual into the words they need to find it.

With Pinterest Lens (currently in beta), for the first time ever it’s possible to understand what someone sees, and turn it into a search. Now people can discover ideas without having to find the right words to describe them first.

Pinterest Lens uses people’s mobile cameras to search for ideas using objects they see out in the real world. Just point Lens at a pair of shoes, and tap to see related styles. Or try it on a table to find similar designs, and even other furniture from the same era. Lens also does food—point it at broccoli or a pomegranate to see what recipes come up.

For now, Lens works best for finding home decor ideas, things to wear and food to eat. As more and more people use it, results will get even better, and the range of objects Lens recognizes will get increasingly wider.

Related ideas on demand

Not only can people now discover ideas inspired by the world around them, but with Instant Ideas, they can discover ideas inspired by the Pins they see in their home feeds. When people scroll through their home feeds today, they’ll see a small circle appear on each Pin. All they do is tap the circle to see related ideas.The new ideas appear right inline, instantly reshaping someone's feed around whatever catches their eye. Over time, they'll see more ideas that are better fit to their interests, making their feed even more personalized.

With these new visual discovery tools, now there are even more ways for people to find products they love—including things they didn’t even know about before. No need to type in a search or even know what the product is called to find it—people can just let their eyes and tastes guide them. As people have more and more ways to discover ideas, it’s even easier for them to find the ideas they want to see from business like yours.

We’re really looking forward to seeing what ideas people discover with these new visual features, and using what we learn to make the technology even better—both for Pinners and businesses.

Tim Kendall, currently discovering ideas for small homes