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Pinterest and Lens

BA 207 Intro to E-Commerce

Pinterest has evolved from an image-collecting social network to a visual search tool. As a visual search tool, Pinterest competes with Google. Like Google, users can find images. The images on Pinterest features links to the source of the images, like Google. And like Google, Pinterest will also give related images to the topic the user is searching for. Pinterest is different because businesses can create visual showrooms for their products. Google can only show images and links to where to buy products.

One of Pinterest’s focuses is mobile devices. The company wants to challenge Google in search advertising revenue. To do so, Pinterest invested in Lens, a deep learning-assisted visual search engine. Lens is a tool used to search for clothing, home decor, and recipes. It learns from its users and recommends like-type products. Because of Lens’ effectiveness, Pinterest implemented it for their image browsing site. Pinterest uses Lens as a collaboration tool with other businesses. Through a partnership with Samsung, Pinterest works with retailers like Home Depot and Target. When a customer takes a picture of an object, the phone will find like-type items at nearby stores. This is an option not offered by Google. Users are not able to submit images and receive recommendations.

With users posting and sharing images, Pinterest has opened itself up to Copywrite infringement issues. The Pin It tool lets users find random images and share them, with little regulation. Despite TOS statements and automatic citations, users continue to share stolen images. It is up to the content creators to take the appropriate steps to remove the images. But that is difficult to do because of the amount of legal tape a creator needs to cut through. Few creators have challenged Pinterest. The task is difficult due to the size of Pinterest, which is what the company counts on.