Pinterest Will Let You Snap Photos To Find Real-Life Products Online

Pinterest will soon let users snap smartphone photos to shop for items online.

Pinterest announced its new “camera search” tool and a suite of new shopping tools at Pinterest’s San Francisco, Calif. headquarters on Tuesday.

“Our new search tech allows you to shop online for products you find offline in magical moments of inspiration that until now, you haven’t been able to take action on,” Pinterest’s president Tim Kendall said on Tuesday.

‘Camera search,’ which will be available to users within the coming months, will let pinners take a photo of an object in the real world, like a pair of shoes they see on the subway, and find that item and similar products on Pinterest. The company is also making making automatic object detection possible through ’visual search’ on iOS, in which people use photos as search queries . The ‘object detection’ tool allows users to find products within a pin’s image. Users can tap a search icon on the upper right corner of a pin to browse detected items, in addition to manually dragging a cropper to learn more about different objects. Automatic detection begins rolling out today and will be available to all users with in the next few weeks.

“Shopping with Pinterest is meant to be that bridge between getting inspiration and making it part of your real life,” Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann said on Tuesday. “When people go on Pinterest, they are constantly looking for new ideas, which often lead them to buy something at a later time.”

Silbermann announced that “buyable pins,” which were previously only available on iOS, are now also available on the web. Starting today, users will also have a shopping bag that will follow them across devices, allowing them to add products and check out on any device. And Pinterest launched new merchant profiles let users see personalized product recommendations from specific retailers to quickly find new items, what’s on sale and what’s trending.

“Shopping today is this always on cycle: You get ideas, you act on them, you look for new ideas,” said Pinterest user researcher and in-house stylist Larkin Brown. ”On Pinterest, shopping doesn’t end with buying. Pinterest gives you ideas for how to dress them up and how to dress them down.”

Users make 130 million visual searches on Pinterest per month and about 2 billion total searches. Now, more than 10 million products can be purchased without leaving Pinterest from more than 20,000 retailers, up from 2 million products when “buyable pins” launched about a year ago. When a user sees a product on Pinterest, they are two times more likely to buy it in-store. And if a merchant promotes the pin, users are five times more likely to buy the item in person, the company said.  In testing “buyable pins,” Pinterest said a third of purchases made on the web were first discovered on mobile. More than 80% of users access Pinterest on mobile devices.

Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers partner Mary Meeker noted in her recent 2016 Internet Trends report that 55% percent of people on Pinterest view the site as a place to shop, while by comparison, 12% of users on Facebook FB +3.36% and Instagram approach those sites as places to shop.

“We think that a transformative shopping experience is a lot more than drawing a buy button on a product,” Kendall said. “Shopping is about finding your personal taste in a world of options.”

Pinterest, which now has more than 100 million monthly active users, generated about $100 million in revenue in 2015. The company’s headcount is also growing quickly, with about 800 employees and offices in Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Sao Paulo and London, in addition to its San Francisco headquarters. The site first launched six years ago and was valued by investors at $11 billion when it most recently raised funding last May. The startup recently overhauled its iOS app to be sleeker and faster.

There are now nearly 150 million “save” buttons, formerly “Pin it” buttons, around the web from a range of retailers, brands and publishers. The company has been focusing on the international growth of its users and advertising business, and has been working to make the site better reflect global users’ nuanced tastes. Now, more than half of Pinterest’s users are based outside of the U.S.

Silbermann has described the company’s mission as making a personalized catalog of items and ideas, curated by those you trust and designed to help you navigate daily life. A recent study by IPSOS and Pinterest  found that Pinterest is the top ranked app for collecting ideas and is the number one app for moms and millennials planning meals and fitness, project planning and shopping. Users often save pins on the service that help them plan trips, activities or purchases. This year, more pins have been saved from YouTube than any other site. Other popular saved pins come from Etsy, Buzzfeed, Food Network, eBay EBAY +1.14% and Amazon.

Source: forbes

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