Pinterest is no longer just a social media platform.
In February, Pinterest introduced a feature called “Shop the Look”. The application will allow users to simply click on a picture they’d like to purchase. If the item is not for sale, the app will direct the shopper to similar items for sale throughout the network.
This move will make shopping easier for consumers, but will also help increase sales of individuals and brands offering products. Pinterest users can tag their own brands, or Pinterest administrators may tag brands for them, creating curated (and profitable) content.
Previously, Pinterest offered “buyable” pins, but users were limited to a single saleable item each. Now, retailers can advertise more than one product using only one pin.
Instagram tested a similar feature in November 2016. While the feature isn’t novel, it’s new to Pinterest.
In addition to “Shop the Look”, Pinterest made several other discovery updates. Lens, a new Pinterest feature, will allow users to search for products and pins based on a photo they upload. Similar in application to Google’s reverse image search, the feature will allow users to shop easily for products using only a picture, instead of keywords.
Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp explained the premise behind the new Pinterest feature, speaking at a press conference at Pinterest’s San Francisco headquarters, stating that “You shouldn’t have to put your thoughts into words to find great ideas.”
Both Shop the Look and Lens are designed to make Pinterest more user friendly for online shoppers. While some consumers view Pinterest as merely a platform for social sharing, the company means to change this brand, marketing itself as a search and discovery network.
Pinterest desires to allow users to share and be inspired, and hopes that this inspiration will ultimately result in a purchase.
In 2015, Pinterest was valued by investors at $11B, but only saw $300M in revenues in 2016. Pinterest hopes that Share the Look and Lens will help the company create actual revenue from the sharing service.