Pinterest Stream - CC via Flickr - Carlssa Rogers
CAIRO – 9 July 2017: In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, Pinterest search engine co-founder and chief product officer Evan Sharp said “images, not words will be the search tools of the future.
Sharp explained that image search engines like Pinterest serve as idea banks, rather than written information provided by other search engines like Google Search. He mentioned examples of ideas that users often search through Pinterest, including cakes, decoration, fashion and style.
In February, Pinterest tested the boundaries of visual search capabilities by launching the application ‘Pinterest Lens’. The application enables smart phones users to search the world around them using the camera on their phones. iPhone and Android users can use the application to identify decor, clothing and food that they see in the real world, then search Pinterest for similar items.
Sharp said, “I believe very firmly that five to ten years from now, visual search will be much bigger than text search.”
Pinterest Lens recognizes things like colors, shapes, textures, and objects, rather than demographic keywords. This provides brands with a rich new opportunity to target their ads with additional relevancy in a way that is more integrated with the user experience, and therefore more effective.
For example, by pointing your camera at a shoe you will be able to see similar styles on Pinterest and get ideas for how to wear it and what to wear with it. In May, the search engine also added food related features to the application.
According to Business Insider website, Pinterest raised $150 million of fresh funding which currently values the company at $12.3 billion, raised from $11 billion in 2015. This jump is likely an indication of Pinterest’s strength in visual search and the revenue it expects to glean from this emerging space in digital media.
"We think it's how discovery is going to increasingly be driven on the phone. We think it's going to be image-driven,” Pinterest’s president Tim Kendall said to Business Insider in June 2017 at the company's pavilion at the June 2017 Cannes Lions of International Creativity festival in France.
Furthermore, Business Insider reported in June, based on its Digital Media Briefing business intelligence report, that 60 percent of consumers from the United States use Pinterest for photo searches, 55 percent for finding or shopping for products, 24 percent for sharing photos, videos and personal messages, 15 percent for watching videos, 10 percent for news and equal percentage for networking and promotion.
Pinterest started in the United States and has today some 175 million monthly users from across the world. Although successful, the search engine is not growing at the same rate as some of its closest competitors; Instagram’s monthly users stand today at more than 700 million according to ‘Business Insider’.
According to the search engine co-founder, Pinterest makes profit through advertising businesses that would like to promote their ideas online.
Photo 1 Results from the 'Pinterest Lens' application - Photo Credit Pinterest.png