A year after launch, Pinterest says users are now conducting more than 600 million visual searches per month. That’s a significant increase on the numbers Pinterest reported back in August, in which they noted that mobile visual searches had increased almost 60%, year-over-year.
Over that time, Pinterest's added a range of new Lens features, including an improved Lens layout, integration with Samsung’s ‘Bixby’ personal assistant tool and Pincodes, expanding the use cases for the tool.
Now, to mark the first anniversary of the function, Pinterest’s adding another Lens option – as explained by Pinterest:
“Next week, we’ll start rolling out the ability to add Lens images to any text search on iOS (Android coming soon). So you can find a piece of art for your walls, a couch that’ll go with your favorite armchair or a casserole recipe that uses that weird vegetable you just discovered.”
As you can see in the above example, you can search for any text-based query as normal, then add in a relevant photo by tapping the camera icon, and Pinterest will show you relevant results.
The actual functionality was announced in November last year, but Pinterest has refined it after initial testing, and as noted, will roll it out to all iOS users, with Android to follow.
In fact, Pinterest has been improving their Lens results overall – in the accompanying post, Pinterest also notes that the visual search technology which powers Lens now understands more than five times as many things as it did at launch, ‘including hundreds of recipe ingredients, thousands of styles of clothing and countless more objects you might find around your home’.
“The underlying visual model is rebuilt nightly, which means we’re continuously recognizing new objects and improving our accuracy.”
As with all machine learning models, Lens learns by example, so the more people use it, the better it gets.
As the other platforms fight it out over the latest innovations and developments, Pinterest continues to build upon its key features, and boost its appeal to users. Indeed, while Pinterest only has a fraction of Facebook’s audience (Pinterest has 200m MAU), those who do use it are very dedicated to the app, with research showing that some 93% of Pinners use the app to plan for or make purchases.
It may not be the first platform that springs to mind for social media marketing, but given its rise in search activity, and influence, it should definitely be a consideration. Worth taking a look at the latest Pin trends in your niche.
FYI – the top categories for Lens searches are:
- Home décor