Pinterest Testing Image Search Feature

Pinterest is testing a new feature that could empower companies across industries, including the promo niche, to better market and sell products through the social media platform. “Lens,” as it’s called, is a reverse image search function that enables individuals to shop for items on Pinterest simply by taking their photo.

Following a month-long trial with small test groups, Pinterest recently made Lens available to all Android and iOS users in the United States. With Lens, users snap an image of anything that interests them using a photo icon that pops up in the feature. This initiates a search that returns results that match the image from other people’s pins, which can include products that can be purchased within the app. Lens adopters can also use any image from their device’s photo gallery to run a query.

Lens could have potential positive benefits for tech-savvy promo companies. Say the buyer for a large health network preparing to host a major 5K fundraiser is at the local Starbucks when she spots a sleek sport bottle on the table of another patron. The bottle, she thinks, would be perfect for her event. Using Lens, she can snap a photo of the item and search all of Pinterest for a match. Promo businesses that carry the product and feature it on Pinterest would have a competitive advantage in gaining the buyer’s business. On the downside, of course, distributors without such a presence, especially those who don’t have a strong relationship with such a buyer, could be cut out of the sales equation.

Nonetheless, before the potential positives or negatives of Lens come into play for distributors and suppliers, Pinterest has to iron out the kinks. While Lens is good at looking up things like outfits and recipe ingredients, it still has a lot of learning to do before it’s fully operational. As such, Pinterest plans to keep Lens in beta as it works to improve the feature. It is unknown when the beta phase will end.