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Pinterest shared insights into its Lens visual search tool today, one year after the social media platform launched the tool in beta for its Android and iOS apps. Together with Pinterest browser extensions and Pin searches, Lens is now used to complete 600 million visual searches every month, with people twice as likely to use Lens today compared to six months ago. Visual searches with Pinterest have been available for two years, but they’re up 140 percent year over year since the launch of Lens.
Tattoos, nails, and sunglasses are among the most popular items searched for using Lens. Other top searches by type include cats, wedding dresses, plants, quilts, brownies, and natural hair styles.
Fashion tops popular categories, followed by home decor, art, food, and products.
Also announced today: Lens photo searches can be combined with text searches in the iOS app, which gives people the ability to pair a search term like “winter fashion” or “date night” with a picture of a particular item of clothing. No time frame was provided for when the same functionality will be extended to the Pinterest Android app.
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“Lens now understands more than five times as many things, including hundreds of recipe ingredients, thousands of styles of clothing and countless more objects you might find around your home,” the company said in a blog post.
Since launch, Lens has grown beyond the Pinterest app to Bixby visual search in Samsung Galaxy phones, web browsers, and products like Lens Your Look and Shop the Look, which showcase shoppable pins from bloggers and content creators.
The goal with Lens, Pinterest head of engineering said at VB Summit last fall, is to recognize your style even if you can’t find the words to name that style.
“We don’t have to know the name of your style, but we [can match it], and I think that’s the magic part. That’s why we believe Lens is the first baby step to encourage users to use your phone and camera as an input of what you’re thinking; then we will figure out what we can do for you to finish the journey,” Fan said.
To continue its effort to compete with visual search tools from companies like Google and Amazon, last month Pinterest hired Google computer vision researcher Chuck Rosenberg to lead its visual search team and act as head of computer vision.
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