Pinterest introduced today a new visual search feature that will let you look at specific items inside a Pin’s image and discover similar pins, based on form, colors, patterns and more.

If you see something that you are interested in, you will be able to tap the search tool in the corner of the Pin, drag the zoom over the object and scroll down for visually similar Pins.

Pinterest Visual Search smart technology allows users to search items within Pins. (Photo: Digital Trends)
Pinterest Visual Search smart technology allows users to search items within Pins. (Photo: Digital Trends)

“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. There’s that perfect lamp hiding in a Pin of someone’s living room, or maybe a random street style shot with the exact shoes you’re looking for,” Kevin Jing, a Pinterest engineer, said according to The Verge.

This new visual search system was made by a team of four engineers, in collaboration with members of the Berkeley Vision Learning Center, according to a post on the Pinterest blog. They used the database of billions of Pins to develop this new feature, by computing a similarity score between two images.

For the last few months, engineers have been experimenting to improve Related Pins using these signals. They took in consideration the similarity scores of certain features on the images, building an index and search system to scale the pictures and find similar results in a fraction of a second.

The idea is to allow users to gain information about a specific item on the image they are looking at, recommending similar objects in real time. Nevertheless, they say that they are optimizing the visual similarity, not duplicating the images to discover exact same results and objects. They are focusing in style, patterns and colors, not finding the same object.

This new visual search tool started to function today, November 9th, globally in all platforms —iOS, Android, and web. The company said that this is just the first step, and the tool will keep improving and updating. Also, they added that people can team up with them to help them improve their visual search technology.

Pinterest enters the list of companies using image recognition to improve their search system, such as Google, Facebook, and Snapchat. The company expects that this new development will pair up the company with Google as a visual search and discovery engine. Moreover, experts believe that this new visual search technology will attract more search-advertising budgets and investors.

Source: Pinterest’s Blog