Tech

New Pinterest AI Feature Encourages Shopping

By Victor Thomson , Jun 29, 2016 04:50 AM EDT

Pinterest announced on Tuesday, June 28, new features aimed at encouraging users to use the social media network for shopping.

According to the Los Angeles Times, smartphone cameras will soon turn into a tool that helps users discover and buy products. Pinterest revealed strategies aimed to transform its social media network into a shopping hub.

The San Francisco company provides a digital scrapbook service that allows people to save links and images from around the web. Instead of requiring users to search with words as other platforms, Pinterest will offer new visual search tools. The company hopes that this way it will become more attractive to shoppers.

According to PCMag, Pinterest's blog post explains in detail that the new features are based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. A new visual search icon will appear in the upper corner of the screen. When tapping on the new icon, a series of displayed dots will mark the products users might like to buy.

Pinterest is using AI algorithms to make the purchasing suggestions. For instance, if the pin is a scene of a bedroom the bedspread and the lamp might be identified with dots that users can tap in order to see similar pins.

Users of the social media network can add any buyable Pin, thanks to a redesigned shopping bag. When users are logged into the Pinterest social media network, their potential purchases will pop up on the Android app.

Pinterest developer, engineer Dmitry Kislyuk, wrote in a blog post that their team wanted to simplify user discovery experience from the dozens of objects contained in an image. Automatic object detection enhances visual search in the same way as the auto-complete feature in Google improves the text search experience.

Pinterest has announced that the ability to search using offline photos users have taken themselves is coming soon, along with iOS support. Pinterest also added over 10 million unique products to the site and more than 20,000 new merchants.

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