Pinterest recently released their new Lens feature, one of the new visual discovery features to be introduced in 2017. Still in Beta testing, the Lens tool lets Pinners take photos of real-life objects and find similar e-commerce options for purchase. Acting as a “real world” search engine, users can either take a photo or use an existing image on their camera roll to find the same or similar pins and themes related to the photo. During testing, Lens was found to be particularly good at finding outfits based on clothing and recipe ingredients based on food items. However, the tool is still learning what users want to recognize in a photo.
Image recognition tools like this will be the next iteration of search. Snapchat is also working on image-recognition triggered ads, while Twitter, Facebook and Google continue to improve their image recognition tools and capacity. Pinterest is giving advertisers ample opportunities to serve their products to visual-searching users with Lens. Getting in early will give brands the opportunity to capitalize on these developments ahead of time and generate more interest in their offering.