TECHNOLOGY

Pinterest eyes Shop the Look enhancements with automated computer vision

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pinterest is getting consumers from pin to purchase more quickly with an update to its Shop the Look social shopping feature.

Shop the Look identifies specific objects in a larger Pinterest scene with white dots that connect the user to the checkout page for streamlined purchase. Since launching Shop the Look in 2017, Pinterest has used human curators aided by computer vision technology to match relevant product links with pins in scenes consumers are browsing. However, Pinterest is now offering a fully automated Shop the Look experience in home décor scenes for iOS device users.

In a company blog post, Pinterest engineer Kunlong Gu says the social platform needed a better way to scale across the billions of images it shows users to effectively match product links with specific pins in specific scenes. By automating the iOS home décor Shop the Look experience, Gu says pin coverage is increased by 22.5 times across billions of pins, with engagement lifted 7% in early testing.

As Pinterest scales Shop the Look automation, it will tag organic pins that have not been listed to a business account. The company says 97% of its 1,000 most popular searches are non-branded, meaning users search by generic phrases such as “shoes” rather than by a brand name. Brands can opt out of having their pins tagged.

“This update brings more computer vision-powered results across Pinterest, showing visually similar ideas to more people,” said Gu. “With more Shop the Look Pins in the system, pinners can expect to see a much more consistent user experience across all home decor scenes.”

In addition, Pinterest plans to use pinned scene images to learn the relationship between objects, such as what objects complement each other or go well together in a certain style. Pinterest seeks to leverage this data to build a sophisticated object graph for every object in the world, making Pinterest an automated, personalized stylist for categories including home and fashion.

Pinterest plans to release an Android version of its fully automated Shop the Look experience soon and has also promised to release more shopping and visual search functionality in the coming months.

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