The company today said it’s launching a new feature that allows users to find and jump to additional products within a photo they’re currently viewing. So, for example, if a search for a jacket brings up an image of someone wearing that jacket, Pinterest will also identify other products like the jeans and shoes they’re wearing. That means that if a business is trying to show off their products, users will have yet another way to jump to similar products they’re showing on Pinterest.
The announcement came along with two other products at an event at its headquarters today, one of which was built around searching for ideas and products through pointing your camera at something.
This is going to be important for Pinterest, which needs to increasingly give marketers and companies a way to drive additional users to their products. If someone is simply looking for an idea for an outfit, they may inadvertently stumble onto a pair of shoes they like but don’t own. Pinterest now gives those users the ability to look for those shoes, and gives businesses yet another entry point for potential customers.
All this is a result of the company’s major investments in image search. Pinterest has largely built a name for itself because of its strong image search capabilities, and that thus far has been its selling point for advertisers. While companies like Google can capture the intent of a user directly searching for a product, Pinterest also taps into moments where potential customers are just meandering around and might stumble onto a product they may later buy. The act of saving that can also signal an intent to advertisers for a purchase, which is yet another touchpoint for those marketers to convert them into a sale.
This full-scope approach has at the very least piqued the interest of marketers. At the end of 2016, it was reported that Pinterest generated around $100 million in revenue in 2105. That’s not a trivial amount of money for a budding advertising business, though it’s certainly not like the break-neck growth of Snap, which generated more than $400 million in advertising revenue for its otherwise young product. But while Pinterest says it has around 150 million users, Snap says it has just as many that are going on the product every day.So Pinterest needs to continually update its array of consumer and advertiser products in order to keep advertisers spending money on Pinterest campaigns — and not just from their “innovation” budgets. Pinterest has to make the jump from a curiosity for advertisers to a mainstay, which it’s tried to do by introducing new ad products like keyword search advertisements. It’s increasingly trying to build an array of products which can capture an entire customer’s lifetime.
It would make sense that Pinterest go for its sweet spot with searches for products within images. And if Pinterest can continue to build those new advertising products and decrease the amount of effort it takes to get to a new product, it’ll be able to make a better sell to its marketing partners.