What Happened: Pinterest recently announced the acquisition of VisualGraph, a two-man, cloud-based image recognition and visual search platform. At a basic level, VisualGraph will make it easier for users to find images similar to the ones they’ve pinned. For example, if a user pins a pair of boots, VisualGraph could help Pinterest recognize the shape of the footwear and instruct it to serve up other images of boots, as opposed to sneakers. The partnership also seems to solve Pinterest’s current issue of being unable to associate tags with the photos posted to its site and the limitations linked with using image captions to understand the contents of a picture.
What This Means for Brands: The more Pinterest can track exactly what people are pinning, the more they can sell ads against it. This is where Pinterest has been headed since at least September, when it announced plans to begin experimenting with Promoted Pins, or as it’s known elsewhere paid advertising. So obviously, the more the service understands photo content and the kinds of things users pin, the better its leg-up on future ad targeting. Ultimately, this new recognition feature could push Pinterest beyond the bounds of being an inspiration and discovery hub to a shopping site where brands can further extend their e-commerce reach.
Contributing to TRENDING items are Jenna Carter, Sarah Gordon, MaryFrances Hicks and Abby Ray.