In just five years, Pinterest has become the third most popular social network in the United States, just behind Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest sets itself apart from other social networks by not really being one, per say, but rather a search engine that lets you discover with your eyes rather than your keyboard. This idea is evolving with “Pinterest Lens“—the latest tool in beta that takes a picture of an item of interest, then brings up related pins for consumers to explore.
Taking a cue from Snapchat’s round Spectacles lens, the feature’s clean design focuses on the inspiring subject in question. Pinterest Lens is integrated into the user’s camera so they can use it anywhere—a quick snap of something inspiring quickly identifies food, clothing, furniture and more then offers up recipes, design ideas or similar pins.
“For now,” Pinterest noted, “Lens works best for finding home decor ideas, things to wear and food to eat. As more and more people give it a try, and we continue making improvements to our technology, results will get even better, and the range of objects Lens recognizes will get increasingly wider.”
We can’t help but wonder—will these new visual discovery tools bring influence back to Pinterest? The site already offers “streetstyle pins” that identify different items inside a pinned photo—perfect for online creators to show off their branded partnerships and personal style. “Shop The Look” takes it a step further by allowing consumers to purchase said items directly through the app.
You may think that with so many (roughly 100 million) users searching for ideas, that they would be very sales person’s nightmare—”just browsing.” However, that’s anything but the case. A staggering 87 percent of Pinterest users have purchased something they found while using the platform.
Together with native video and enormous sharing community, Pinterest’s latest offering can only mean good news for creators and the brands who love them.