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Pinterest improves e-commerce features

14 February 2017 - 11:07 by Sarah Collinson

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Social sharing site Pinterest has always been popular among consumers looking for new products and ideas to use in their own lives, but now it has improved its retail potential by adding a new feature that combines image-based searching with safe shopping online.

The Pinterest mobile app has been endowed with a service called ‘Lens,’ which means that users can simply point their handset of choice at an item, snap a picture and then let the app work out what it is, or find related products online, according to the Daily Mail.

Company spokesperson, Evan Sharp, explained that this would allow users to search for items without having to know the make, model or brand involved. So when traditional search engines cannot find the right answers, Pinterest is looking to step in and take over for a more satisfying user experience.

At the moment, this technology is still in its early stages of testing but it should eventually roll out to all users. In addition, the company is committed to offering this as a tool which focuses more broadly on styling choices, not just on finding specific items to buy via safe shopping online.

Sharp gives the example of a user taking a picture of a clock. The special Lens algorithms would then seek out other images which feature the same clock, allowing users to get an idea of what other items might fit in with a product of this style.

With a global user base of 150 million, Pinterest is an impressively influential social media service which is especially well adapted to integration with e-commerce features. It already has some shopping services available but will be adding more in the coming months as it shifts its brand even further towards the retail end of the spectrum.