As it seeks to further enhance its eCommerce discovery options, Pinterest is this week launching a new, augmented reality 'try on' feature which will enable users to get an idea of what certain lipstick shades might look like on their lips.
As you can see in this example, the new process will add a 'Try it' button to selected lipstick Pins. Tap on it, and your phone will open the reverse-facing camera with a color shade slider along the bottom, which will then enable you to virtually see what you'll look like in each lipstick shade.
Once you find a shade that suits, Pinterest will then highlight relevant product Pins for that color.
As further explained by Pinterest:
"Simply open the Pinterest camera in search, click “Try on” to find different shades and swipe up to shop from brands like Estée Lauder, Sephora, bareMinerals, Neutrogena, and L’Oreal brands NYX Professional Makeup, YSL Beauté, Lancôme, and Urban Decay. A “try on” button will also appear on select products, as well as in search with related terms like “matte lipstick” or “red lips”."
The option is very similar to YouTube's AR Try-On ad units, which are displayed via split-screen, with the video playing on top, and your phone camera view opening at the bottom. Users can then see what they might look like wearing the make-up which is being discussed in the video.
Pinterest's variation is not as tied to a specific product or brand, as such, but still, the option is only available to selected brands at this stage (interested brands can apply to take part in the program here).
Pinterest has also integrated the functionality with its skin tone range features, "so Pinners can see similar lip shades on skin tones that match their own".
That aligns with Pinterest's broader focus on inclusion and diversity, which has become a key element in its business approach.
So too has user wellbeing, and Pinterest has also made a relevant point on this front within its announcement.
Pinterest says that its try-on feature "won’t include skin smoothing or image altering effects that make you look less like you (as you might see on some other AR technologies)". That's an interesting stance to take, focusing on providing functional AR, as opposed to enhancing tools that can give people an unrealistic depiction of what they, and others, look like.
This type of enhancement has become a significant concern on Instagram, with some photos being edited so much that they barely look human. As we've noted previously, the risk in such is that it raises the bar of comparison for other users - if all you're seeing in your Insta feed are beautiful, perfect people, with perfect skin, perfect eyes, perfect bodies, etc., then, inevitably, users are going to compare themselves to these unrealistic depictions, which could have significant negative impacts.
It's good to see Pinterest making a point of this, and keeping its tools in line with real-life use case, as opposed to using enhancement tools as a means to sell more products.
As noted, the new 'Try it' button will appear in various Pins, while Pinterest also notes that users will be able to find lipstick colors based on any Pin image by tapping on the "see similar looks" option.
It's an interesting option, and one that'll no doubt prove popular, and will help Pinterest improve its use case as a product discovery engine.
Pinterest says its 'Try On' option is now available in the U.S. on iOS and Android with more regions and product categories to come.