Pinterest today launched its first Facebook Messenger bot to power Pin searches, as well as a chat extension to power collaborative visual search inside one of the most popular chat apps on the planet. Starting today, any pin shared from Pinterest to Messenger will automatically link to the Pinterest chat extension. The chat extension can be used to look for pins when brainstorming ideas with friends in group chat.
The Pinterest bot takes advantage of an update to the Facebook Messenger Sharing SDK, also launched today, which makes it possible to share larger images and changes the way apps can share content on Facebook Messenger. Once the new Sharing SDK is implemented, apps can use templates designed by Facebook for a uniform look. Once inside Facebook Messenger, apps using the SDK will display the name and logo of the app that shared the link.
“With an improved sharing experience, now the full Pin’s image will be shown in Messenger once shared,” the Pinterest Engineering team wrote in a Medium post.
Chat extensions for Facebook Messenger were introduced earlier this year. Tap the little blue plus button in any conversation on Facebook Messenger to display extensions that can be used to take a broad range of actions, ranging from sharing Apple Music tracks to sending Western Union money transfers or making OpenTable restaurant reservations.
Now, each time a pin is shared in Messenger, a call-to-action will be appear below the pin that invites you to “See similar ideas.” Tap the button and it opens the Pinterest chat extension with ideas similar to the pin shared by a friend for more people to add ideas to the conversation; the search bar can be used to search Pins without leaving Facebook Messenger.
Unlike many of Pinterest’s offerings this year, the bot does not include the ability to upload an image and perform a search with Pinterest’s Lens computer vision. It also leaves out shopping experiences like the recently upgraded Shop the Look or Lens Your Look fashion search.
“We built this integration to enhance how people already use Pinterest with Messenger to easily find and share ideas and collaborate on them with family and friends,” a Pinterest spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.
Roughly one million pins are shared in Facebook Messenger exchanges every week, according to Pinterest.