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Pinterest Lens

Pinterest Lens

In the Information Age, it was surely only ever a matter of time before a product like Pinterest Lens, the pin-board style app’s latest gift, was bestowed upon the world. What does it let you do? Well, it lets you Shazam actual things. Actual real life things.

I won’t assume everyone reading this has used Shazam to find the name of a song – or “Shazam’d a track” as the kids say. So if you aren’t familiar with the process; you hear a song, you open Shazam, you press the button, the built-in microphone listens, in a strange form of onomatopoeia the song is “Shazam’d” (please say I’m not the only one that thinks the word ‘Shazam’ perfectly fits the noise you’d imagine this magical function to make), and you’re greeted with the artist and title.


But wait, there’s more.

Oh, what’s that? You didn’t want to buy the song or stream it again? You were just curious as to what it’s called? Sorry, but Shazam is going to give you so many options to do one of those two that you’re not going to be able to resist.

Now imagine if you could point your camera at real objects and get the same data.


Meet Lens

Pinterest Lens GIF

(source: Pinterest Blog)

The new visual search tool uses machine vision to detect objects in the real world and suggest the closest match it can find on Pinterest. Co-founder Evan Sharp demonstrated Lens’ ability by utilising it to detect a pomegranate. He was then swiftly greeted by results of pomegranate bread, sandwiches and even tips for peeling the humble red fruit.

At the moment, it’s only in beta and lies within the app itself. So brush the dust off your account if you haven’t pinned anything in a while, because now you have a much bigger motive. Well, if you live in the right country that is. It’s only just been rolled out in the US so I’m afraid the rest of the world (including us) will undoubtedly have to wait until they see how it’s received.


Here’s where it gets exciting

Naturally, there are a heap of opportunities for advertisers. The first is a pretty instant benefit. If you’re a smaller brand or what you make isn’t instantly recognisable, that shouldn’t be a problem. Lens seems to be invented for those curious as to what a product is, not just the ones looking for something similar. Make sure your product is all over Pinterest and if the technology works as it’s supposed to, you should come up in a search.

The possibilities for brands don’t stop there, however. Lens is accompanied by another equally important feature, ‘Shop the Look’.

Shop the Look

(source: Pinterest Blog)

Simply by tapping the circle on an item you can shop for it. You can even see what other people are styling it with if you’re short on inspiration. This makes the consumer journey from finding a product to buying it as short and simple as it could possibly be. Perfect for lifestyle and clothing brands and disastrous for my bank account.